Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma in Pennsylvania
The Keystone State has a proud tradition of leading the way in heavy industry, particularly steel, as western Pennsylvania is considered a vital part of the U.S. “Rust Belt.” But, as with other industries operating in a high-heat environment, the steel business used massive quantities of asbestos throughout much of the 20th century. For decades, corporations ignored the information about the health hazards of asbestos and placed profits before the health of workers. Eventually, it became impossible to ignore the growing body of evidence that asbestos causes mesothelioma and other potentially fatal, often-debilitating, illnesses.
MesoLawyersCare attorneys have been able to recover money awards for workers and their families who have been harmed (often fatally) by jobsite exposure to asbestos throughout Pennsylvania. Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by asbestos exposure and the mission of MesoLawyersCare is to help families affected by this disease. Some of the more notable asbestos exposure sites in Pennsylvania, including steel mills and power stations, are detailed below.
1. U.S. Steel (Mon Valley Works)
U.S. Steel’s Mon Valley Works, founded in the late 19th century, consisted of six steel plants clustered around the Pittsburgh area before some of the facilities were shuttered in the 1980s. Two of these plants were located in the towns of Duquesne and Homestead, employing a total of roughly 23,000 workers at their peak in the mid-1940s. Asbestos and asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) were regularly incorporated into machinery, while asbestos insulation covered furnaces, ovens, boilers, generators, and other equipment. Even aprons, masks, and other equipment worn by workers sometimes consisted of asbestos. Not only steel mill workers but also their family members would be exposed to asbestos that was brought home in clothing and hair. Unfortunately, the asbestos products that workers used lacked adequate warnings and often the employers failed to take steps to assure that contaminated work clothing was not worn home. This corporate misconduct has resulted in a public health crisis, with thousands of workers and family members diagnosed in the United State each year.
2. J&L Steel
Jones and Laughlin (J&L) Steel Company was founded as the American Iron Co. in 1852 and operated steel mills in Aliquippa and just outside of Pittsburgh (spanning a 7-mile stretch along the Monongahela River) for more than 100 years. The positions most susceptible to asbestos exposure at the J&L facilities include those located near blast furnaces, coke ovens, strip mills, and oxygen furnaces. But even those who were indirectly in contact with the fibers, such as family members of J&L workers, have developed mesothelioma and other illnesses associated with the substance. These workers, with the support of their families, helped build this country, with their steel being used to erect the longest of bridges and the tallest of buildings. By no fault of their own, too many of these workers and family member have been diagnosed with mesothelioma because corporations failed to give proper warnings.
3. Keystone and Conemaugh Power Stations
The twin Keystone and Conemaugh power plants in western Pennsylvania (Armstrong and Indiana Counties, respectively) went online in the late 1960s and comprise more than 3,000 acres. The plants burn mainly coal and have undergone several major renovations since their opening to cut down on acidic emissions and other coal-related pollution. As with other power generation plants, the Keystone and Conemaugh facilities employ steam generators that produce steam at a temperature of more than 1,000 degrees (F). These intensely high temperatures prompted the liberal use of asbestos throughout the facilities, which have caused illnesses in former workers. Too often, the power plant owners and operators showed more concern for the expensive equipment used in their plants, than they did for the health of the workers. These companies knew about the hazards of asbestos and could have prevented workers and families from developing mesothelioma, if they would have prevented the asbestos exposures from occurring.
4. Homer City Generating Station
The 2,400-acre Homer City Generating Station, currently owned by General Electric, is a coal-powered plant located in Indiana County. Two of three units went online in the late 1960s, with a third facility operational beginning in 1977. Employing more than 240 workers, the power station generates enough electricity for roughly 2 million homes. Those who worked at the plant during its first decade of operation are the most vulnerable to mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses. Asbestos was used primarily for insulation in the facilities, potentially exposing insulators, machinists, pipefitters, engineers, and other workers to dangerous levels of the fibrous material. The attorneys at MesoLawyersCare are able to prove that asbestos exposure occurred at job sites throughout Pennsylvania, including this Generating Station, through evidence acquired in litigation including historical documents.
5. Allegheny Ludlum Corporation
Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Allegheny Ludlum Corporation (now called Allegheny Technologies Inc., or ATI) was founded in 1939 after Allegheny Steel merged with Ludlum Steel. The company has the distinction of producing the steel used in the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building in New York City, as well as the steel used for the Model A Ford automobile. ATI, as it’s now referred to, operated 11 steel mills throughout Western Pennsylvania at its peak — including locations in Brackenridge, Latrobe, and Natrona Heights – and employed thousands of workers at each facility. As with other steel mills built in the 20th century, workers were potentially exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. The attorneys from MesoLawyersCare have successfully represented workers and family members exposed to asbestos at this job site, as well as other steel plants and industrial facilities throughout Pennsylvania.
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 throughout Pennsylvania. 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 the phone number on this page.
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