Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma in Rhode Island
Although geographically the smallest state in the United States, Rhode Island has a historical past and a strong state presence in the military, power, and manufacturing industries. However, these industries in Rhode Island, such as power plants and military bases, resulted in asbestos exposure and an elevated risk of developing mesothelioma in many workers and their family members. Even if you haven’t worked at a shipyard or manufacturing facility for decades, you still could be at risk because it takes years for symptoms to develop. Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, was once valued for its heat-resistant properties. However, early on it was discovered that is was carcinogenic, causing many workers to develop terminal mesothelioma.
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 Rhode Island and throughout the nation. While individuals can be exposed to asbestos in many ways and at a number of locations, the following list of worksites in Rhode Island present elevated risks for exposure to past and present workers and their family members.
1. Naval Station Newport – Newport, RI
The Naval Station Newport, located on Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay dates back to the 1800s. With the invention of steam-powered ships, the Naval Station Newport became one of the largest coaling stations in the country. During World War II, the navy station grew rapidly, and thousands of naval recruits were trained at the base. Throughout much of the 20th century, naval stations and naval ships were dangerous locations to work because of expansive asbestos use. Asbestos was used because it is heat resistant—the mineral was used to insulate walls, floors, ceilings, pipes, and to keep ship equipment operating properly while at sea. When disturbed, particularly during maintenance, asbestos caused serious harm anyone who handled the substance at the shipyard or was in the vicinity and inhaled the tiny particles. Asbestos use at the Naval Station Newport put military and civilian workers at risk for developing asbestosis, mesothelioma, or a number of other serious diseases.
2. Manchester Street Power Station – Providence, RI
The Manchester Street Power Station provides power for over 360,000 homes in the Providence area. The station, built in 1903, has 3 units which were originally fueled by oil but have since been converted to natural gas. These units generate electricity and produce steam for industrial use. This process requires heating water to high temperatures to create steam that powers turbines. Because of the high temperatures, power stations built before the 1980s used asbestos and asbestos-containing products in their buildings and equipment. Asbestos was used in insulation, cements, and gasket materials used with high-heat equipment at this job site. Sometimes asbestos was used as part of employee protective clothing. This put not only the health power station workers at risk, but also the health of their family members who were exposed to asbestos particles carried home on workers’ clothing and hair.
3. Naval Air Station Quonset Point
Quonset Point is a small peninsula that sticks out in the Narragansett Bay in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. In 1941, the Naval Air Station was commissioned to be built on the peninsula which served as a major naval facility during World War II and the Cold War. The station had its own major aircraft overhaul and repair station. From the early 1900s until the 1980s, U.S. Naval Air Stations commonly used asbestos. While base structures were often constructed with material containing asbestos, airplanes specifically used asbestos containing parts including gaskets, packing brakes, wiring and other materials. Workers at the Quonset Point station were exposed to dangerous asbestos particles, specifically while performing repairs on airplanes. Exposure to asbestos put military and civilian workers alike at risk for developing mesothelioma and other deadly asbestos diseases.
4. Leviton Manufacturing – Hillsgrove, RI
Leviton Manufacturing, founded in 1906, manufactures electrical wiring equipment. For years, the company operated a factory in Hillsgrove, Rhode Island. Leviton produced electrical light sockets, wires, outlets, power cables, and other lighting systems. Not only was asbestos used in the manufacturing facilities, but Leviton also manufactured asbestos insulated wires and cables. This meant manufacturing workers were harmed by asbestos exposure, but also electricians and construction workers who used Leviton products were put at risk. Through no fault of their own, past Leviton workers and their family members, as well as those who used asbestos containing Leviton products, were exposed to asbestos and have been put at risk for developing asbestos related illnesses. Today, there are still many light sockets in use that have asbestos-containing wires connected to them that can release airborne dust when the wire is cut or stripped.
5. American Insulated Wire – Pawtucket, RI
American Insulated Wire (also known as “AIW”) ran a large industrial site in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Originally built in 1898, the complex included fourteen buildings with more than 350,000 square feet of space. For years, American Insulated Wire manufactured coated wire products. These products included electrical and electronic wire, cable, and cord set products as well as building wire, control cable, mining cable, and other various types of power cable. The company was a subsidiary of Leviton for a while, before being sold to Southwire. Like other 20th century manufacturing companies, American Insulated Wire used asbestos for its heat resistant nature in equipment in their facility. Additionally, wires the company manufactured were insulated with asbestos (often in multiple layers) to prevent sparks and electrocution. Asbestos use at American Insulated Wire facilities and in their products left many of their workers and those who used their products exposed to the harmful effects of asbestos.
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 Rhode Island. 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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