Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma in Montana
Many worksites in Montana, such as oil refineries, mines, and paper mills, resulted in asbestos exposure and an elevated risk of developing mesothelioma in many workers and their family members. Even if you haven’t worked in or done maintenance at a refinery, mine, or chemical plant for many decades, you could still be at risk because it can take years for symptoms to develop. Asbestos, was valued for its heat-resistant properties, but has been mostly phased out in the United States. Still, its harmful legacy remains and some Montana workers have yet to become ill from exposure.
The experienced legal professionals at MesoLawyersCare have successfully recovered money awards for workers and their families who have been injured (including from mesothelioma) by jobsite exposure to asbestos in Montana and throughout the nation. While individuals can be exposed to asbestos in many ways, the following list of worksites in Montana present elevated risks for exposure to past and present workers and their family members.
1. Pfizer Treasure Mine – Madison County, MT
The Pfizer Treasure Mine in Madison County, Montana is a talc soapstone mine. The mine produced more than 125,000 tons of talc a year. When processed, talc ore from the mine is crushed and ground into powder. Talc is used in ceramics, paints, and plastics, and even in body powder and the coating on tablets and chewing gum. Talc mining and production can be problematic because talc is commonly found near tremolite and anthophyllite, types of asbestos, which often contaminated the talc and the talc products later produced. Miners at the Pfizer Treasure Mine could have been exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos both during the mining process as well as while producing talc products. Also, consumers using talcum powder products with talc originating from this mine would have been exposed to airborne asbestos from the powder.
2. Phillips 66 Refinery – Billings, MT
The Phillips 66 Refinery in Billings, Montana was built in 1949. The refinery has the ability to produce 67,000 barrels per day and employs over 400 workers. The refinery produces transportation fuels, such as gasoline and diesel, as well as aviation fuels and fuel-grade petroleum coke. As was common for the majority of the 1900s, the Phillips 66 refinery used asbestos throughout the facility. The extreme temperatures required to refine oil made companies turn to asbestos for its heat-resistant qualities. Although asbestos worked well to insulate and seal pipes, boilers, and other heavy machinery used in refining, it came at a cost as it exposed workers to toxic asbestos particles. Workers employed at the Phillips 66 refinery prior to the 1980s when asbestos use was phased out are at risk of developing asbestos related illnesses like mesothelioma.
3. Anaconda Copper – Anaconda, MT
Founded in 1881, The Anaconda Copper Company was one of the largest mining companies in the world for most of the 20th century. The founder, Marcus Daly, purchased a silver mine that then became lucrative after a huge copper deposit discovery. He then built a smelter in Anaconda to process the mined copper. At the smelter, because heat and high temperatures were a concern, it was common to use asbestos insulation. Asbestos was used in machinery, generators, motors, and even in the smelter’s structure. Workers in the smelter often used asbestos safety clothing as well. Although the smelter closed in the 1980s, former employees could still be at risk for developing asbestos related diseases as the symptoms often take decades to show.
4. W.R. Grace – Libby, MT
In 1919, mining for vermiculite began in Libby, Montana. Vermiculite was used in construction materials including insulation for buildings and homes. However, the vermiculite contained asbestos. W.R. Grace took over the mine in 1963 and continued to operate the mine and expose workers to harmful asbestos for years, producing 80% of vermiculite in the world. The asbestos from the mine not only impacted mine workers, but because the mine’s byproducts were used in local buildings and landscaping, the citizens of the town of Libby suffered high rates of asbestosis, and 10% of the town died from the asbestos contamination. In 2009, the EPA declared Libby a public health emergency, providing $130 million for cleanup and medical assistance. It is considered one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in the nation.
5. Waldorf-Hoerner Paper Mill – Missoula, MT
Logging was one of the main industries in Missoula, Montana. To capitalize on this industry, in 1956, Waldorf-Hoerner built a large pulp mill. The mill followed the kraft process to make packing material such as cartons and corrugated containers. The plant changed ownership several times and was eventually closed in 2009. As was common in paper mills prior to the 1980s, the manufacturing process at the Waldor-Hoerner mill exposed workers to asbestos while operating equipment that utilized asbestos. Asbestos was found in paper mills in insulation in pipes and boilers, in equipment such as drying machines, and in materials used to build the mill such as roofing, cement, and paint. The attorneys at MesoLawyersCare have successfully represented many paper mill workers who have developed mesothelioma, as well as family members who have been diagnosed with this asbestos-related cancer as the result of household contact with dusty work clothing.
Our attorneys from MesoLawyersCare have recovered more than $10 billion dollars for people diagnosed with mesothelioma. Our firm has successfully represented workers exposed to asbestos in Montana and throughout the country. 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.
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