South Carolina Asbestos Exposure Sites: Chemical Plants And Power Plants
Asbestos is a versatile mineral once widely used in various industries, until scientific studies revealed that exposure to it can lead to serious illnesses such as mesothelioma, a very specific type of cancer of the lining of the lung. Unfortunately, many people today still suffer from asbestos exposure, and among them are chemical plant workers and power plant operators.
South Carolina has dozens of chemical plants and power plants where workers could be exposed to toxic materials that cause illnesses. If you believe that you or a loved one developed an asbestos-related disease in a South Carolina facility, you may be entitled to fair compensation. Getting compensated could greatly ease the financial burden of the illness, and help you achieve a sense of justice. See how you can proceed with your case by talking to an experienced asbestos exposure lawyer at Kassel McVey.
Asbestos Exposure In SC Chemical Plants
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, South Carolina has one of the highest concentrations of chemical plant jobs in the US. In particular, the Columbia, SC area is a metropolis with one of the highest number of people in this occupation. Employees include equipment operators, chemical engineers, chemists, chemical technicians, and supervisors.
Between the 1930s and ‘70s, it was very common for asbestos to be used in chemical plants because it is highly resistant to chemicals. Asbestos was used to insulate machinery and equipment, as an ingredient in building materials like sealants and counter tops, and as a material in workers’ protective clothing. But by the 1980s, health concerns had caused a drastic decrease in asbestos use.
However, asbestos-containing material may still be around today, especially in buildings and machinery built before the ‘80s. In addition, many of those who were heavily exposed to the mineral took years to discover that they had developed a lung disease.
Sadly, chemical workers have been at the forefront of exposure. A study found that chemical plant workers are nearly three times more likely to die of mesothelioma than the average population.
Given the wide use of asbestos in chemical factories, there are plenty of ways a worker can be exposed. For example:
- Equipment or machinery operators regularly cut, remove, and replace layers of insulation which traditionally contained asbestos. Fibers of the mineral would be released into the air and inhaled by the operators.
- Repairmen, mechanics, and maintenance workers can also inhale the mineral when they use asbestos in sealing pipes, replacing gaskets, and insulating equipment.
- Workers previously relied on asbestos-incorporated protective garments such as coveralls, facemasks, gloves, and aprons.
- Anyone who works in asbestos-laden buildings can be exposed. Chemical plants especially used asbestos as fireproofing or as components in cement blocks.
Over the years, numerous individuals and families have filed asbestos lawsuits against companies. Some bring a personal injury case over their own illness, while others pursue a wrongful death case over the fatal disease of their loved one.
Though there are significant challenges in asbestos claims, Kassel McVey has been successful in receiving substantial compensation for injured workers and their families. One of the largest verdicts in South Carolina was a mesothelioma case tried by Kassel McVey in Richland County that resulted in a $38 million dollar verdict.
Asbestos Exposure In SC Power Plants
One of the many characteristics of asbestos is that it is heat-resistant, so power stations relied on this mineral to protect their equipment and workers. Ironically, asbestos itself can be toxic, though many power plant workers did not know this until the late 1970s. By then, they had already been regularly exposed to the mineral.
Even in recent years, electrical power station employees face this risk. In fact, a 2009 study indicated that power plant workers are over eight times more likely than the general population to die of mesothelioma.
At electricity-generating plants, transformer stations, power distribution centers, nuclear processing plants, and similar facilities, asbestos exposure can occur in various ways:
- Blue-collar workers who install or maintain pipes, pumps, and breakers are the most exposed. These workers typically drill, saw, and bolt those asbestos-insulated items, causing the asbestos fibers to spread in the air. In decades past, some workers were even tasked to spray asbestos pulp directly onto machinery.
- Electricians and welders traditionally used asbestos sealants and adhesives in their work.
- Workers at power plants used to wear protective uniforms made with asbestos, such as masks, coats, mitts, and boots.
- Power plant buildings traditionally used asbestos products in construction – from cement blocks and firebricks, to boilers and hot tops, and even to gaskets and ropes. Daily exposure to such building materials, or short-term proximity to broken or damaged asbestos-containing parts, can also lead to lung problems.
South Carolina Chemical Facilities And Power Plants
Thousands of South Carolinians are employed at or contracted by industrial facilities. These are some of the chemical plants and electric facilities in SC:
- Allied Chemical, Irma
- Atomic Energy Plant, Aiken
- Barnwell Nuclear Plant, Barnwell
- BP Chemical Co., Wando
- Canadys Power Plant, Canady
- Catawba Nuclear Station, York
- Celanese Power Plant, Rock Hill
- Chemstation, Columbia
- Duke Power House, Pelzar
- Ethox Chemicals, Greenville
- Hitec Chemical Inc., Travelers Rest
- Dupont Chemical Plant, Camden
- Monsanto Chemical Plant, Greensboro
- Oconee Nuclear Plant, Oconee
- Ortec Inc., Piedmont
- Robinson Nuclear Plant, Hartsville
- South Carolina Electric & Gas, Monks Corner
- South Carolina Power & Light, Georgetown
- Stauffer Chemical Plant, Anderson
- Union Carbide, Florence
- VC Summer Nuclear Station, Jenkinsville
South Carolina Asbestos Lawyers – Contact Kassel McVey
Have you or a loved one been harmed due to asbestos exposure at the workplace? Talk to us at Kassel McVey to get to the bottom of your case and find your best legal options. Our aggressive yet compassionate attorneys are supported by our network of medical experts, and we can help you get rightfully compensated.
Don’t delay, as South Carolina has a Statute of Limitations that sets deadlines on asbestos claims. Call Kassel McVey today at (803) 256-4242.
Personal Injury Lawyers
1330 Laurel Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Post Office Box 1476
Columbia, South Carolina 29202
Fax: (803) 256-1952
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