Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma in Delaware
Delaware, like many other states, has a history of asbestos use in various industries including chemical plants, power plants, and oil refineries. These industries had high incidences of asbestos use prior to the late-1980s. As a result, workers in these industries and their families were exposed to asbestos and put at risk for developing serious illnesses. Exposure to asbestos, a heat resistant material, can cause mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer.
The lawyers at MesoLawyersCare have successfully handled legal claims for individuals and their family members exposed to asbestos at worksites across Delaware. In fact, the MesoLawyersCare law firms have won multiple jury verdicts for mesothelioma victims in Delaware courts. While the symptoms of asbestos related illnesses do not typically show until years later, anyone exposed to asbestos on the job can be at risk for developing these illnesses. The following five Delaware worksites are examples of places that have an elevated risk of asbestos exposure:
1. Allied Chemical – Claymont, DE
In the early 1920s, a group of five major U.S. chemical companies came together to form Allied Chemical. Allied Chemical became one of the largest domestic and international chemical companies during the 20th century. During World War II, the company thrived by producing heavy chemicals, including alum, soda ash, and other sulfur-based chemicals. After the war, with less demand and more competition, business slowed for Allied Chemical. Allied Chemical went through various mergers and was later acquired Honeywell, taking that name. Allied Chemical’s involvement in various chemical manufacturing and production meant they used asbestos in their equipment to protect against corrosion and high temperatures. Asbestos was used in equipment such as furnaces, pipes and pumps, valves, gaskets, cement, and insulation. Workers who worked with or repaired and maintained equipment and buildings at the Allied Chemical facilities were put at risk of exposure to asbestos.
2. Delaware City Power Plant – Delaware City, DE
The Delaware City Power Plant opened its doors in 1968 as a commercial power plant near the banks of the Delaware River. The plant uses low-sulfur diesel and is black-start capable—this means that in a blackout emergency where the whole grid system goes down, the self-sufficient unit can be used to bring the system back on. Like most power plants, power is generated at the Delaware City Power plant by boilers used to heat water to over 1,000 degrees. The steam then powers turbines that turn to create energy. The extreme heats required at power plants lead to heavy usage of asbestos, favored for its heat resistant quality, throughout the power plant as insulation and sealing materials in machinery. The harmful effects of asbestos typically do not show until years later, so many former workers from the Delaware City Power plant remain at risk of developing asbestos related illnesses.
3. Getty Oil Refinery – Delaware City, DE
In 1956 Getty Oil, a large American oil company, built an oil refinery in Delaware City, Delaware. The refinery processes a variety of crude oils—it has the capability of producing 190,000 barrels a day of different fuel types including diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, fuel oils, aromatics, and methanol and propane fuels. Over the years, the refinery has been sold several times, and was eventually closed due to environmental problems in 2009. It reopened in 2011. Refineries boil oil to separate it into useable products. With the high temperatures involved in the refining process, companies like Getty Oil used asbestos in insulation, gaskets, packing, cements and equipment at the refinery and even in protective clothing for their employees. As a result, asbestos exposure was often rampant while working at the refinery, putting employees’ health in serious danger.
4. DuPont – Seaford, DE
DuPont is a large American chemical company. In 1939, DuPont made an $8.5 million investment to build a new nylon production plant in the small town of Seaford, Delaware. The first year it was open, the plant ran 24 hours a day—this produced enough nylon that year to make 64 million pairs of nylon stockings. At the Dupont manufacturing plant, not only was asbestos used in the facilities construction and equipment (such as pumps, furnaces, ovens, gaskets, and valves,) but it was sometimes combined with the nylon to reinforce the nylon fibers. Anyone who worked near or with asbestos-containing materials on a regular basis was put at risk for developing mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases.
5. Avisun – New Castle, DE
Built on the shores of the Delaware River in 1961, Avisun’s New Castle chemical plant specialized in producing polypropylene. Polypropylene is one of the most common commodity plastics and is often used in packaging and labeling. The plant had the capacity to make about 100 million pounds per year. In 1968 the plant was purchased by Amoco Chemical Company. Amoco operated the plant until 1980s when an explosion at the plant killed 5 employees and injured several more. People who worked at the Avisun plant before its closure were likely exposed to asbestos. This exposure could have occurred from inhaling airborne asbestos dust from aged asbestos insulation used in manufacturing equipment, from the replacement of worn gaskets and packing or from working with the plastics manufacturing itself as many companies used asbestos in making plastics before the 1980s.
The skilled attorneys from MesoLawyersCare have recovered more than $10 billion dollars for people diagnosed with mesothelioma. Our firms have successfully represented workers exposed to asbestos at worksites in Delaware throughout the United States. We have won multiple jury verdicts for mesothelioma victims in Delaware court, as well as obtaining millions of dollars in settlements. 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 our office.
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