Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma in Colorado
Asbestos exposure is quite common in Colorado. Colorado’s industrial past is the main cause of asbestos contamination and asbestos related illness in the state. From power plants to oil refineries and other manufacturing sites, asbestos was regularly used in buildings, machinery, products, and even protective clothing. For decades, companies ignored information about the danger asbestos presented to the health of their workers. Eventually, it became impossible to ignore the evidence: asbestos causes mesothelioma, a deadly cancer, and other potentially fatal or debilitating illnesses.
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 Colorado and the United States. The mission of MesoLawyersCare is to help families affected by the tragic illnesses asbestos exposure can cause. Some of the more notable asbestos exposure sites in Colorado are detailed below.
1. Alamosa Power Plant – Alamosa, CO (old one, not the new one)
The Alamosa Power Plant was originally a three unit coal-fired power plant in Alamosa, Colorado. Later, the plant added as natural fired unit as well. While in operation, the Alamosa power plant supplied power for all of the San Luis Valley. The plant eventually closed in the 1980s and has since be torn down and replaced by a large solar power farm. Like other power plants built and operated before the 1980s, asbestos was used in the power plant equipment at the Alamosa plant. Asbestos was used to insulate pipes and boilers, as gasket and packing material, and for other applications where protection from heat was important. Workers who were employed at power plants like the old Alamosa Power Plant are at a high risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
2. Conoco Refinery – Commerce City, CO
Commerce City, Colorado, a northern suburb of Denver, is known for its oil refinery. The Conoco Refinery began in the 1930s and originally, was two separate refineries. In 2003 and 2005, Suncor Energy purchased both the east and west refineries to create one operation. The refinery is now the largest in the Rocky Mountain region and has the ability to produce 98,000 barrels of oil a day. It produces gasoline, diesel fuel and paving-grade asphalt. The high temperatures required to refine these flammable substances led many oil refineries in the 20th century to use large quantities of asbestos insulation, cements, gaskets and packing in their buildings and machinery. As a result, many Conoco Refinery workers have been exposed to asbestos by inhaling toxic airborne fibers while working at this refinery.
3. Cherokee Generating Station – Denver, CO
The Cherokee Generating Station, built in the 1950s, was a Coal-fired power station owned and operated by Xcel Energy. By 2017, all of the plants four coal units had been converted into natural-gas-fired units in an effort to limit air pollution in Colorado. The plant is capable of producing over 800 Megawatts of electricity. As was common in power plants built prior to the 1980s, Asbestos was used in many ways throughout the plant, particularly as insulation in the facilities. This abundant use of asbestos resulted in exposure to insulators, machinists, pipefitters, engineers, and other workers to dangerous levels of the fibrous material. Those exposed to asbestos at the Cherokee Generating Station may still be at risk to develop asbestos diseases, including mesothelioma.
4. Coors Brewery – Golden, CO
German immigrants Adolph Coors and Jacob Schueler founded the Coors Brewery in 1873 in Golden, Colorado. Today the Coors Brewery is one of the leading employers in the Golden area with 900 full-time employees and is the world’s third-largest brewing company. Breweries throughout the United States, built during the twentieth century, used asbestos in constructing facilities and in protecting their machinery. Workers applied asbestos insulation on walls, floors, ceilings, boilers, and piping. Asbestos insulation and sealing materials were specifically used because it did not rust with all the water present in beer production. Employees at breweries like Coors Brewery are at risk for asbestos related diseases, like mesothelioma, because of the continuous exposure to asbestos while working. Because there is often a significant delay before developing the deadly diseases related to asbestos, it is possible that anyone working at the brewery before the 1980s may still be at risk.
5. Eastman Kodak – Windsor, CO
Eastman Kodak Company opened its Colorado division in the town of Windsor, Colorado in the late 1960s. Kodak, a global film giant, quickly employed thousands of people. By 1976, Kodak accounted for 90 percent of film and 85 percent of camera sales in America. Kodak manufactured camera products including film, paper, chemicals, and other technical equipment. Large factories and manufacturing facilities, such as the Kodak facility, utilized asbestos in their equipment, including boilers, turbines, pumps, and valves. Many building materials and replacement parts used around the site were also made from asbestos-containing materials including drywall, insulation, cement, packing and gaskets. As such, employees were exposed to dangerous asbestos particles and often carried this harmful dust home on their clothing putting their families at risk as well.
The MesoLawyersCare attorneys have won more than $10 billion dollars for people with mesothelioma and their loved ones. Our firms have successfully represented workers exposed to asbestos at worksites in Colorado and throughout the United States. For a free consultation or more information, fill out the short form on this page, have a live chat now with one of our dedicated patient advocates, or call us today.
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