Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma in Iowa
Two of the top industries in Iowa are construction and manufacturing. From the manufacturing of steel and boilers to making household products, the Hawkeye State economy relies on these industries. However, with all this manufacturing and industry means an increased chance of asbestos exposure, especially for employees who worked in these industries prior to the phasing out of asbestos use in the late 1980s. Thousands of workers and their family members in Iowa have suffered from the life-threatening illnesses caused by breathing in asbestos dust. These illnesses, including mesothelioma, can take years to present symptoms, so many people may suffer from these illnesses long after their initial exposure.
MesoLawyersCare attorneys understand the specifics of asbestos and mesothelioma cases and have been able to recover significant money awards for workers and family members who have suffered as a result of asbestos exposure throughout the state of Iowa. Some of the more prominent job sites in Iowa with high levels of asbestos exposure are discussed below.
1. Donohoo Steel Treating Co. – Bettendorf, IA
After a childhood spent working with metals alongside his blacksmith father, Gus Donohoo founded the Donohoo Steel Treating Co. in 1946. The company focused on heat treating steel and became well known in the industry. Heat treatment involves the use of heating, usually to extreme temperatures, to change the physical properties of a material, such as hardening or softening that a material. As with many industries that used extremely high heat to operate, Donohoo Steel Treating used asbestos in their facility prior to its phasing out in the 1980s. Asbestos, which has heat-resistant qualities, was used as an insulation and sealing material in pipes, stoves, furnaces, and tanks. Heat treating equipment operators were continually exposed to asbestos while on the job.
2. P.M. Lattner Manufacturing – Cedar Rapids, IA
P.M. Lattner Manufacturing, established in 1918, manufactures boilers for a variety of other industries ranging from dry cleaning to health club steam rooms. Throughout much of the 20th century, it was common and acceptable to use asbestos-containing products in manufacturing boilers to help the products function properly. Lattner employees could have been exposed to asbestos while working with gaskets and bearings, asbestos cement, or while insulating the machine’s heated components with asbestos insulation, including asbestos air cell insultation in boiler pipes. This exposure to high levels of asbestos left workers susceptible to asbestos-related illnesses, including mesothelioma.
3. Clinton Corn Processing – Clinton, IA
The Clinton Corn Processing mill in Clinton, Iowa was built during the early 1900s. The large grain processing plant is now owned by Archer-Daniels-Midland Company. The Clinton mill produces many products including corn sweeteners and starches, corn oil, beverage alcohol, enzymes, ethanol, and other food ingredients. The plant employs over 700 people. As was common in all types of industrial plants during the early 20th century, asbestos-containing materials covered production equipment, pipes and machinery throughout the Clinton Corn Processing facility. As asbestos aged, it became flaky or had to be replaced, and when employees or maintenance workers disturbed this dust it became airborne. Anyone breathing toxic asbestos dust was put at risk for developing deadly asbestos diseases later in life.
4. Oscar Mayer – Davenport, IA
Founded by a butcher in 1883, Oscar Mayer is now a classic American household brand. The company was a pioneer in the meat packing industry and in the 1980s Oscar Mayer merged with Kraft foods. Processed food, food that has been produced or packaged in large factories, became ever more common throughout the 1900s. Today, the Kraft/Oscar Mayer plant in Davenport employs over 1,300 people. However, prior to the 1980s, many food processing plants and factories used asbestos materials in the plant construction and asbestos materials in plant equipment such as insulation, valves, pumps, packing, gaskets, and ovens throughout the factory. As a result, many Oscar Mayer employees many be at risk of asbestos diseases, even if they have not worked at Oscar Mayer for decades.
5. Procter & Gamble – Iowa City, IA
Proctor and Gamble is famous for producing some of America’s most well-known household consumer products. Workers at Procter and Gamble’s Iowa City production site are responsible for shampoo and conditioners, and mouth and body washes including the Clairol, Head and Shoulders, Gillette, Oil of Olay, and Oral-B lines. Iowa City factory workers were exposed to asbestos while manufacturing these products as the products require specialized equipment including tanks, heating systems, and mixing stations, all of which were heated at extremely high temperatures. This equipment was often insulated and sealed with asbestos and employees often used asbestos gloves when working with the hot equipment. Proctor & Gamble, like other manufacturing companies, knew of the dangers associated with asbestos, but failed to warn employees and contractors of these dangers which left many workers exposed to hazardous asbestos.
The skilled attorneys of MesoLawyersCare have recovered more than $10 billion for people diagnosed with mesothelioma. Our firm has successfully represented workers exposed to asbestos in Iowa and/or residing in Iowa, as well as workers throughout the United States. 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 offices.
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