Republic Steel closed in 1984.  While it lasted, the mill provided good paying union jobs, but the prosperity it brought came with a heavy cost.  In addition to massive pollution of land, water and air, the toxins from steel production resulted in industrial disease and death among its workers.  One such toxic was the widespread use of asbestos used throughout the mill.

Although the asbestos fibers themselves are indestructible, the products they are manufactured from release large quantities of breathable fibers into the air when they are installed or removed, when they are cut, drilled, filed, banged into or simply degraded with time and wear.  The fibers themselves are very aerodynamic and can be carried long distances in the mill until a worker breathes them in, or even when they are carried home on a workers clothing, thereby also exposing spouses and children.

Asbestos is nearly impervious to heat and chemicals and, but for the horrific and deadly health consequences, it is ideally suited for a steel mill, which is filled with both.  Although the asbestos fibers themselves are indestructible, the products they are manufactured from release large quantities of breathable fibers into the air when they are installed or removed, when they are cut, drilled, filed, banged into or simply degraded with time and wear.

Even though Republic Steel has been closed for many years, now is the time that an asbestos cancer is likely to develop. Diseases such as mesothelioma or lung cancer often take decades after the exposure for a disease to appear.  To read more, click here.

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