Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma in Arkansas
The state of Arkansas has a rich tradition of industrial activity. Industries such as mining and manufacturing are significant contributors to the state economy. Unfortunately, despite the economic upsides to these industries, many of them have left a legacy of mesothelioma (a deadly form of cancer) and other serious illnesses due to exposing workers to asbestos. For decades, corporations ignored the information about the health hazards of asbestos and put company profits before the health of their workers.
Now, even decades later, workers exposed to asbestos at jobsites in Arkansas are battling life-threatening illnesses and their families are mourning the loss of loved ones. MesoLawyersCare attorneys have been able to recover money awards for workers and their families who have been harmed (often fatally) by jobsite exposure to asbestos throughout Arkansas. Some of the more notable asbestos exposure sites in Arkansas are detailed below.
1. Reynolds Metals – Arkadelphia, AR
The Reynolds Metals Company was founded in 1919. What started as a small foil company providing tin foil wrappers for candy companies, grew into the second-largest aluminum company in the United States. The company is famous for producing the classic household product Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil. The company mined aluminum ore and also expanded into plastics and precious metals. Production of these products required employees to work around very hot materials. Asbestos was used to insulate and seal furnaces and other machinery used in production. In addition, workers used asbestos gloves, coats, and masks to protect against the high temperatures. The company failed to warn employees of the dangers of asbestos which left many workers exposed to hazardous levels of asbestos.
2. Georgia Pacific Paper Mill – Crossett, AR
The Georgia Pacific Paper is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of products such as tissue, pulp, paper, packaging, and building products and chemicals. The company, established in 1927, was originally the Georgia Hardwood Lumber Co. focused on lumber wholesale. Over the years, the company branched out to produce many other products and it acquired several companies. During this process, Georgia-Pacific made different products that contained asbestos, including asbestos-containing joint compounds. Georgia-Pacific workers in Crossett, prior to the 1980s, were exposed to asbestos from the production of these asbestos-containing products.
3. Lion Oil Company – El Dorado, AR
A major employer in Southern Arkansas, the Lion Oil Company refines and produces oil, gas, and other oil-based products. In 1922, Lion Oil took over a small refinery in El Dorado and initially produced 2,000 barrels of oil a day with only 25 employees. However, within just a few years the company grew exponentially—with the discovery of new oil and demand increase due to the war, Lion Oil quickly grew to the largest refinery in Arkansas. Today, the company, now owned by the Delek Group, produces more than 500 million gallons of gasoline a year. The Lion Oil refinery in El Dorado, similar to other refineries during the 20th century, used large quantities of asbestos-containing materials for insulation purposes throughout their facilities. Common among oil refineries that used asbestos (and the companies that manufactured asbestos-containing products) was the failure to take precautionary measures even when the dangers of asbestos became undeniable. As a result, many unsuspecting workers were exposed asbestos and put at risk for developing serious illnesses.
4. Robert E. Ritchie Power Plant – Helena, AR
The Robert E. Ritchie Power Plant, located in Helena, was built during the 1960s. The Ritchie Plant housed three units that could produce 918 megawatts of electricity. This power plant was owned by Entergy Arkansas, which provides electricity to over 700,000 customers in 63 counties throughout Arkansas. In 2013, the plant was retired, and in 2015 the last unit was demolished. Employees who worked at the Robert E. Ritchie plant prior to the late 1980s were exposed to materials containing asbestos including insulation in piping, boilers, asbestos-containing gaskets, and other machinery. As asbestos aged, it inevitably required replacement and became airborne leaving employees and those who performed maintenance on the machinery at risk for inhaling the toxic fibers.
5. International Paper – Pine Bluff, AR
International Paper is the largest producer of fiber-based packaging, pulp, and paper in the world. The Pine Bluff paper mill, located in Pine Bluff, produces bleached board used for beverage cartons and coated publication papers. The heat and flammable products required in the paper production process made the use of asbestos common throughout paper mills built prior to the 1980s. International Paper Company, like other paper mills, used asbestos insulation in mill walls and floors for its heat resistant properties. Asbestos insulation and sealing materials were also used on pipes, boilers and other equipment throughout the paper mill. Exposure to asbestos can cause serious illnesses, including mesothelioma. Many past employees, who worked on or around the asbestos-insulated machinery, have been diagnosed with mesothelioma because of their exposure to asbestos while working at International Paper mills.
The attorneys from MesoLawyersCare have recovered more than $10 billion dollars for people diagnosed with mesothelioma. Our firm has successfully represented workers and families exposed to asbestos at worksites throughout Arkansas. For more information or a free consultation, fill out the form on this page, have a live chat now with one of our representatives, or call us today.
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