Individuals who work at chemical plants often encounter asbestos exposure. Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford is committed to seeking justice for chemical plant workers exposed to asbestos. 

As a heat-resistant element, asbestos was long considered to be the best insulator to guard against fire and extreme temperatures. It was regularly used in all sorts of products, including safety gear, to protect chemical plant workers from heat. However, in the 1980s, the EPA determined asbestos was carcinogenic.

Unfortunately, the use of asbestos wasn’t limited to safety gear like gloves and fire-resistant clothing. Companies used asbestos in machinery that required high temperatures to create products like soap and synthetic rubber. Boilers, pumps, furnaces, and ovens might incorporate asbestos to make the equipment fire-resistant.

Because chemical plants often use extremely high heat to mix compounds and create goods, the buildings were made fire-resistant by using asbestos as an insulator.

Throughout history, chemical plant workers and asbestos exposure have been commonplace in manufacturing companies. But asbestos exposure from safety gear, machinery, and building materials puts workers at risk of developing serious and fatal diseases, including mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Chemical Plant Workers and Asbestos Exposure in New York

Chemical Plant Workers and Asbestos Exposure: A Dangerous Combination

Studies have found that asbestos exposure results in a much higher risk of developing severe and fatal illnesses, including mesothelioma and lung cancer.

One study conducted exclusively on chemical plant workers found significant evidence of chest X-ray abnormalities in 60% of the workers. Those who had worked in chemical plants longer than 20 years were more likely to have developed irregularities in their chest and lungs.

Asbestos releases tiny fibers into the air, which are easily inhaled and stick to the membranes of the throat and lungs. Over time, these fibers cause irregularities in the chest and lungs, potentially leading to mesothelioma, pulmonary fibrosis, and lung cancer.

Before the 1980s, not much was known about asbestos. Companies didn’t have protections in place to safeguard their workers from asbestos. While chemical plant workers had to wear safety gear to protect against the high temperatures used at the plants, this gear contained asbestos as a fire retardant.

When studies began to show the dangers of asbestos, many lawsuits followed. Workers who had spent decades in chemical treatment plants began to develop severe illnesses from their exposure. Chemical plant workers and asbestos exposure became synonymous with mesothelioma and lung cancer.

While newer safety gear and machinery do not incorporate asbestos, older chemical plants still use asbestos as building insulation.

Chemical Plant Workers and Asbestos Exposure Lawsuits

Numerous lawsuits concerning chemical plant workers and asbestos exposure have made the news. Here are a few of the most prominent ones.

A Louisiana case involving a chemical plant worker at Dow Chemical resulted in a $5.95 million award to the worker, who developed mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure.

A Mississippi case against Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. and Union Carbide Corporation resulted in $300 million in punitive damages and $22 million in actual damages for a chemical plant worker who developed asbestosis. The court later retried the case and released Union Carbide Corporation from the damages award.

A Texas family won $9 million in damages against Dow Chemical and Alcoa Aluminum, where a chemical plant worker developed mesothelioma while working for both companies.

Anyone who developed mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, or other diseases after working for a chemical treatment plant may be entitled to monetary damages for their illness.

To find out whether you or a loved one qualifies for an asbestos claim, contact Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC for a free consultation.

Chemical Plants Known for Using Asbestos

Several well-known chemical companies have used asbestos in building insulation, safety gear, and machinery throughout the years. A few of the companies include:

Some of these plants employed thousands of workers, all of whom were regularly exposed to asbestos.

Not only were the workers exposed to asbestos, but their families were too. Asbestos fibers linger on clothing. When workers returned home at the end of a long day, they took the asbestos fibers with them.

Exposure to Asbestos at a Chemical Plant: What to Do

Workers exposed to asbestos at a chemical plant should seek a complete medical evaluation from a doctor. Asbestos is a known carcinogen, and regular exposure can result in the development of mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other severe illnesses.

Individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma or other diseases should seek legal assistance after working in chemical treatment plants or other locations where asbestos is prevalent. Victims of asbestos-related diseases deserve compensation for their physical and mental injuries.

At Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC, we’ve helped thousands of individuals recover compensation for their asbestos exposure. Our practice was the first New York State law firm to recover a court verdict in favor of an asbestos worker in 1989, and we’ve recovered over $1 billion for our clients since then.

Symptoms of Typical Asbestos-Related Conditions

There are three main illnesses associated with asbestos exposure: mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. Symptoms from these diseases include:

  • Chest tightness and pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Painful coughing
  • Unusual lumps of tissue
  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Nausea
  • Crackling in the lungs
  • Clubbing of the thumbs or toes
  • Hoarseness
  • Extreme tiredness or weakness
  • Regular bouts of bronchitis
  • Coughing up blood or sputum

If you were exposed to asbestos and are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s advisable to seek a medical evaluation from a physician. A physician can determine whether your symptoms are related to asbestos exposure.

Chemical Plant Workers and Asbestos Exposure Claims

You may have heard of the statute of limitations laws. Each state has a statute of limitations that caps the time an injured victim has to file a personal injury case. In most states, the statute of limitations is two to three years following an accident or injury.

However, mesothelioma cases are different. Symptoms of the disease and similar illnesses may not appear for decades. Due to the slow progression of the disease, doctors sometimes dismiss minor symptoms for years before making a correct diagnosis.

It’s also tricky to narrow down the exact time an individual developed mesothelioma or similar diseases from exposure. Some workers spend decades at chemical treatment plants, and identifying the point where exposure became toxic is challenging.

As a result, the discovery rule applies to mesothelioma cases. Under the discovery rule, people who develop a disease long after their last exposure to asbestos can still file a legal claim once they know they have the illness.

In these cases, the statute of limitations begins when the worker becomes aware they may have the disease — usually following diagnosis by a physician.

Even if it has been years since you worked in a chemical treatment plant, you may still sue for financial compensation if your diagnosis or symptoms became apparent in the last few years.

Chemical Plant Workers and Asbestos Exposure Lawyers

Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC are mesothelioma lawsuit pioneers in New York State. We’ve successfully helped thousands of clients recover financial compensation for illnesses arising from asbestos exposure.

You can count on us to deliver fair representation in your asbestos claim. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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