Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma in Mississippi
Mississippi, known as the Magnolia State, has a history of asbestos exposure connected to worksites throughout the state. Decades ago, asbestos, a naturally occurring heat-resistant mineral, was frequently used in power plants, chemical plants, shipyards, and other worksites in Mississippi and around the world where machinery generated high temperatures. Unfortunately, exposure to asbestos causes cancer, including mesothelioma, and other often-fatal illnesses. Although asbestos use has now been drastically limited in the U.S., because it takes so long for symptoms to develop, many people exposed years ago are still at risk for developing an asbestos-related illness.
If you have suffered a workplace illness from exposure to asbestos, even if the exposure was several decades ago, you’re 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 Mississippi and the United States. The following five worksites present some of the most elevated risks for asbestos exposure to past and present workers in Mississippi.
1. Ingalls Shipbuilding – Pascagoula, MS
Pascagoula is a town of 20,000 people in southern Mississippi. The city’s location right on the Gulf Coast made it the perfect home for Ingalls Shipbuilding. The company began in 1938, and is now a part of Huntington Ingalls Industries. The shipyard sprawls across 800 acres and employees over 12,000 employees. It is the leading producer of U.S. Navy ships and the largest private employer in Mississippi. Prior new safety guidelines implemented in the 1970s and 1980s, shipyards used a substantial amount of asbestos while constructing ships order to resist heat and allow for proper functioning of the high-heat equipment used to power the ships. The material was used in boilers, turbines, engines, pumps, valves, gaskets, and packing and insulation for steam pipes. Employees at the Ingalls Shipyard were often exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos while working with and repairing asbestos containing ships.
2. Chevron Refinery – Pascagoula, MS
The Chevron Refinery in Pascagoula was built in 1963. The refinery is located in the Bayou Casotte Industrial Park on over 3,000 acres near the Mississippi Sound. This refinery has grown to be Chevron’s largest U.S. refinery and produces about 130,000 barrels per day of motor gasoline. As was common in oil refineries throughout the 1900s, asbestos was present at the refinery for many years. Oil refining requires heavy machinery and extremely high temperatures to remove impurities from the oil. As a result, refineries used asbestos for its heat resistant qualities in insulation in boilers and pipes, and used asbestos containing gaskets and values to avoid problems of overheating in the facility. However, in doing so, Chevron (and product manufacturers) failed to adequately warn and put the health of workers at risk. Employees exposed to asbestos while working in the refinery may be at risk for developing mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases like asbestosis.
3. Hercules Chemical – Hattiesburg, MS
Hercules Chemical was a large chemical and munitions manufacturing company established in 1912, and acquired by Ashland in 2008. The company mainly produced gunpowder products, including dynamite. However, in 1920, Hercules Chemical started their production site in Hattiesburg, Mississippi for the express purpose of producing wood based chemical products like pine resin from the excess wood pulp available as forests in Mississippi were cleared. At its peak, the plant in Hattiesburg produced more than 250 chemical products. Since the chemical facility dealt with high temperatures, Hercules Chemical used substantial amounts of asbestos. However, this left workers exposed to harmful asbestos—as the facilities aged and the fibers were disturbed, dusty, toxic asbestos was easily inhaled.
4. Hooker Chemical – Columbus, MS
The Hooker Chemical company was founded with 1903. One of the first products Hooker Chemical produced was chlorine that was used for sanitation of drinking water. Later the company was involved in the war efforts by producing picric acid used for explosives, as well as chemicals required for making rubber and vinyl. Hooker has left a legacy tainted by use and disposal of harmful chemicals and other materials. It was designated as a Superfund Site by the Environmental Protection Agency after years of toxic waste contamination. Workers at the Hooker Chemical plant prior to the 1990s were especially at risk of health problems because of on the job exposure to asbestos. Asbestos was used throughout the plant in pipes, heat exchangers, furnaces, pumps, extruders, boilers and ovens because it was resistant to the reactive chemicals and high temperatures. Often “blue” (crocidolite) asbestos was used as gasket materials in corrosive chemical applications of the type that existed at Hooker Chemical.
5. Jack Watson Generating Plant – Gulfport, MS
Owned and operated by Mississippi Power, the Jack Watson Generating Plant is a coal-fired power station. The plant has been active since 1957 and was named after the company’s third president. As with other power plants built before the 1980s – when asbestos began to be phased-out and companies started facing lawsuits – the Jack Watson plant used large amounts of asbestos. The fibrous material was used primarily as insulation from excessive heat and as gasket and packing materials. Asbestos was even sometimes used in the protective gear worn by workers. In addition to those who constructed and worked at the plant, their family members may have been exposed secondhand through asbestos dust fibers brought home on workers clothing and hair.
The attorneys from MesoLawyersCare have recovered more than $10 billion dollars for people diagnosed with mesothelioma. Our firm has successfully represented workers exposed to asbestos at worksites in Mississippi and 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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