Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma in Kansas
The state of Kansas is known for its miles of sunflowers and acres of wheat. While agriculture holds the spot as the top industry in Kansas, the energy production, air plane manufacturing, and oil industries are not far behind. As was common in these industries up until the 1990s, asbestos was used throughout Kansas at various worksites. Although companies eventually discontinued the use of asbestos, the damage was done—exposure to asbestos left many people at risk of developing mesothelioma and other serious life-threatening illness. These illnesses often don’t manifest themselves until years after the initial exposure.
If you have suffered a workplace illness such as mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos in Kansas, even if the exposure was several decades ago, you are likely entitled to compensation. The attorneys at MesoLawyersCare have recovered large awards for workers and their families who have been injured by worksite exposure to asbestos throughout Kansas. The following five worksites present some of the most elevated risks for asbestos exposure to past and present workers in Kansas.
1. Boeing – Wichita, KS
Boeing is one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the world. In 1929, Boeing purchased a small airplane plant in Wichita, Kansas, that manufactured biplanes. Over the years the plant expanded to huge facility focused on airplane production and military airplane development, modification and maintenance. In fact, more than 10,000 military planes were built in the original Wichita plant between 1934 and 1945. By 2014, Boeing had ceased operations at its Wichita plant, moving to other locations in the U.S. Former employees at the plant are still facing harmful effects of asbestos exposure. Before asbestos use was phased out in the late 1980s, workers manufacturing and performing maintenance on airplanes were exposed to asbestos while working with brakes, which used asbestos to withstand heat caused by friction, but also while working with engine and electrical insulation, heat shields for engines, clamps, torque valves, gaskets, and insulation in cargo bays.
2. Sunflower Ordnance Works – De Soto, KS
Sunflower Ordnance Works was a large ammunition plant established in 1941 by the U.S. Government and operated until it was decommissioned 1998. For a time, Sunflower Ordnance Works was the largest smokeless gunpowder and propellant plant in the world. During World War II, the plant employed over 12,000 people and produced more than 200 million pounds of propellants. The production of propellants is high risk as propellants are extremely flammable. As a result, asbestos was used throughout the facility, including in the buildings themselves in transite siding and roofing felt. Because the facility was so large, there were approximately 40 miles of asbestos-insulated above ground steam lines at Sunflower. It would have been difficult for former Sunflower Ordnance Workers to avoid asbestos exposure while working at the plant. This exposure can lead to deadly illnesses including mesothelioma.
3. Skelly Oil – El Dorado, KS
In 1922, Skelly Oil purchased the Midland Refining Company in El Dorado, Kansas and entered into the oil refining business. The refinery passed through the hands of several companies and is now owned by HollyFrontier. The refinery is the center of El Dorado’s industry and produces around 135,000 barrels a day of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, and asphalt and refined petroleum products. Oil Refineries built during the early 20th century often used asbestos for its heat resistant properties as refining oil required extreme temperatures. Asbestos was used at the refinery to insulate pipes and boilers, as gasket and packing material, and for other applications where protection from heat was crucial. Asbestos gaskets and packing would result in airborne dust when they were worn down and removed from equipment. This put workers at risk of inhaling toxic asbestos dust, and exposed their family members to the dangerous dust as workers carried it home on their clothing and hair.
4. Owens Corning – Kansas City, KS
Owens Corning produces insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites. The company was formed in 1935, and had economic ups and downs throughout much of the 20th century. Today, however, the company now employs 19,000 people internationally in 37 countries. The Owens Corning facility in Kansas City focuses primarily on insulation production. For years the company produced insulation that contained asbestos, putting at risk the health of their employees as well as consumers exposed to the products. Owens Corning faced litigation from current and former workers, and product users, beginning in the 1970s or earlier, who developed asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related illnesses.
5. Lawrence Power Station – Lawrence, KS
Power plants contain enormous heat-generating and steam-powered machinery, like boilers and turbines, which, in the past, were often laced with asbestos-containing insulation and other internal components. The Lawrence Power Station is no exception. Owned and operated by Westar Energy, the Lawrence Power Station consists of three coal fired electric generating units. The units burn coal to heat water and create steam—that steam powers turbines used to create energy. Asbestos was used in power plant equipment because of its heat-resistant qualities. Workers who were employed at power stations like Lawrence Power Station, prior to the late 1980s are at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
The skilled attorneys from MesoLawyersCare have successfully represented workers exposed to asbestos throughout Kansas. Our attorneys have recovered more than $10 billion dollars for people diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos related illnesses. For more information or a free consultation, fill out the form on this page, start a live chat now with one of our representatives, or call us now.
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