Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma in Idaho
Though Idaho is known for its agriculture and technology industries, the state also has a history of industrial activity. Industries such as lumber, fertilizer manufacturing, mining, and power have a large presence in the state, but have unfortunately left many Idaho workers exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. As was common in the United States, these industries used asbestos throughout the 20th century. Exposure to asbestos has resulted in many workers in Idaho developing the deadly disease mesothelioma—a type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
The skilled legal professionals at MesoLawyersCare have successfully recovered cash awards for workers and their families who have been injured by jobsite exposure to asbestos in Idaho and across the United States. While workers and their families may become exposed to asbestos at a number of different locations, the following Idaho worksites present known heightened risks for exposure to past and present workers.
1. Boise Cascade – Boise, ID
Boise Cascade is a large wood products and building materials manufacturer that distributes products nationwide. Boise Cascade gets its name from the city where it was founded and is headquartered, Boise, Idaho. The company is known for manufacturing plywood, lumber, engineered wood products, and particleboard. Prior to the late-1980s, asbestos, known for its heat-resistant and insulation qualities, was regularly used as insulation and sealing materials in manufacturing plants as it helped keep the equipment and pipes from overheating. However, when the asbestos used at Boise Cascade aged or was disturbed, it became dusty and airborne. As a result, workers were exposed to the dangerous particles floating in the air where they worked for many hours every day. Many former employees who worked at Boise Cascade’s Idaho locations are at risk for developing asbestos related illnesses.
2. Idaho National Laboratory – Idaho Falls, ID
The Idaho National Laboratory is a laboratory owned by the U.S. Department of Energy that is involved with nuclear research. The lab was started in the 1940s as a U.S. government artillery test range shortly after the U.S. entered World War II. The site is famous for working on many nuclear projects and building nuclear reactors, including building the prototype reactor for the first nuclear-powered submarine. Modernly the site focuses its research on the use of nuclear power for energy, security, science and environment. From the early-to-late 20th century, it was common for nuclear plants and labs to be built with asbestos-containing products, often insulation, as they were dealing with explosive materials. Pipes, wires, generators and other equipment and machinery that operated at high temperatures were covered with asbestos insulation, and utilized asbestos-containing gaskets and packing. Many employees who worked at the laboratory before the 1980s have since suffered from serious diseases, including mesothelioma, because of the asbestos exposure while working at the lab.
3. Bunker Hill Smelter – Kellogg, ID
When the Bunker Hill Smelter was built in the late 1800s, it was the biggest smelting facility in the world. The discovery of silver by Noah Kellogg, brought a boom of mining and smelting to the area, later named Kellogg, Idaho. The Bunker Hill Smelter processed the metals from the ore and then dumped the “tailings” or unusable metals and lead into the Coeur d’Alene river. Bunker Hill Smelter has faced significant litigation for the pollution to both air and water it caused in the Kellogg area. The smelter was also harmful because of the use of asbestos throughout the facility. Smelter men and pourers worked around and repaired high-temperature equipment that was sprayed with asbestos insulation. The equipment also used asbestos-containing gaskets that would have to be replaced. The use of asbestos was so common, it would have been difficult for employees regularly working at the Bunker Hill Smelter to avoid coming into contact with it and being exposed to its harmful effects.
4. J.R. Simplot Co. – Pocatello, ID
The J.R. Simplot Company was founded by John Richard Simplot in 1929. It started as a small agricultural company, and during World War II provided dehydrated onions and potatoes to the military. In addition to its food production, Simplot manufactures fertilizers for agriculture. Simplot’s Don Plant was built in 1944 in Pocatello to produce various phosphate fertilizers and industrial products. Today, the plant produces over 1 million tons of these fertilizers annually. During much of the 20th century, it was common for manufacturing plants to use asbestos or asbestos containing equipment and machinery. Large tanks used to store fertilizer were insulated with asbestos to protect the fertilizer. Many former employees who worked at J.R. Simplot manufacturing plants are at risk for developing asbestos related illnesses due to on the job exposure to toxic asbestos particles.
5. Potlatch Mill – Lewiston, ID
Potlatch Corporation specializes in the manufacture of wood products, printing paper, and other pulp and paper-based products. Founded in the forests of Northern Idaho in 1903, the company operations were centered in Lewiston, Idaho. Over the years, Potlach Corporation merged with other paper companies and expanded their mills in Lewiston to include a saw mill, tissue operations, and a bleach kraft pulp and paper mill which produced a thick paper for making milk cartons. The paper making process required large machinery and boilers which, during the early 20th century, used asbestos for insulation and sealants (including gaskets and packing) because of the high heat generated by the machines. The asbestos use at paper mills like Potlach Mill left many workers exposed to developing serious asbestos related health problems, including mesothelioma.
The attorneys from MesoLawyersCare have recovered more than $10 billion dollars for people suffering from the asbestos caused illness of mesothelioma. Our firm has successfully represented workers exposed to asbestos while working at sites throughout Idaho. 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 at the number on this page.
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