Power Plants, Powerhouses, and Asbestos Injury – Mesothelioma
Asbestos was a significant part of industrial settings where high heat and electricity mingled for decades. This includes power plants that generated electricity and powerhouses that created steam for large buildings or college campuses. Asbestos is a cancer-causing mineral fiber used in these settings because it’s an insulator that’s fire, heat, and electricity-resistant.
Where Were Asbestos Products Used?
Asbestos products prevented fires and protected equipment and employees from intense heat. This includes their use on:
Virtually anything of value that gave off or was exposed to high heat or could burn might be covered in asbestos in some way.
Who Was Exposed to Asbestos in Power Plants and Powerhouses?
Products were used mainly by blue-collar employees and contractors who maintained the equipment. Their jobs could include applying and removing asbestos products. This may be done to maintain or replace equipment, or their task was simply to work on this insulation.
Those directly and indirectly exposed to asbestos fibers include:
Others employees in the area inhaled or swallowed asbestos fibers in the air. Workers exposed family members when they returned home covered with asbestos.
How Would Workers Be Exposed to Asbestos?
Asbestos fibers could be released into the workplace when products containing it were:
These products age and deteriorate as time passes, putting more fibers in the air. Types of asbestos products in power plants and powerhouses include:
Asbestos use was widespread in facilities built before the 1980s when its use declined.
What Health Hazards Do Power Plant and Powerhouse Workers Face?
Fibers that lodge in the lungs may, years or decades later, cause asbestosis, lung cancer, and pleural mesothelioma (a fatal cancer of the membranes lining the chest cavity and lungs), reports the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.
The immune system recognizes asbestos fibers as foreign. White cells attack them but can’t destroy them. The asbestos fibers are unaffected while the immune cells die. They spill out enzymes, damaging nearby cells, and causing scarring and inflammation. This can result in severe breathing problems (asbestosis). As decades pass, tissues in the area undergo mutations and genetic changes that can result in lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma.
Asbestos fibers also cause pericardial and peritoneal, which are less common than pleural mesothelioma. Pericardial mesothelioma affects the heart’s lining. Swallowed fibers can migrate down the digestive tract to the peritoneum (a membrane lining organs and the abdominal cavity).
Pericardial mesothelioma is the rarest of the three and the deadliest. Few people with pleural mesothelioma survive five years after diagnosis. One study estimates nearly half of those with peritoneal mesothelioma will live that long.
Call Us Today For A Free Consultation
Have you or a loved one who worked at a power plant or powerhouse been diagnosed with asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma? If so, Satterley & Kelley lawyers can answer your questions, discuss your rights to compensation, and how to protect them. You can call our Louisville office at 502-589-5600 or toll-free at 855-385-9532. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.