Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma in Tennessee
Tennessee ranks among the top 20 states for asbestos related deaths in the nation.
Tennessee is home to so many successful industries such as chemical plants, power plants, and manufacturing, that many workers throughout the state were exposed to asbestos. Prior to the 1980s, when asbestos use was finally phased out in the United State, most of these industries used the naturally occurring mineral because it is heat resistant. Tragically, exposure to asbestos often causes horrible illnesses including mesothelioma, a deadly type of cancer.
The skilled legal professionals at MesoLawyersCare have successfully recovered cash awards for workers and their families who have been injured by jobsite exposure to asbestos in Tennessee and across the United States. While workers and their families may become exposed to asbestos at a number of different locations, the following worksites in Tennessee present known heightened risks for exposure to past and present workers.
1. Alcoa – Alcoa, TN
The small town of Alcoa, Tennessee was a classic “company town”—the town got its name and was built around the Alcoa aluminum smelting company. The Alcoa smelter was built in 1911 along the Little Tennessee River, which was used to provide electricity for the smelting operation. During World War II, the demand of aluminum increased, as aluminum was used in the construction of airplanes. At its peak, the smelter employed over 12,000 workers. During the early to mid 20th century, many manufacturing companies used asbestos in their facilities and machinery. Because the process of smelting and refining raw aluminum required high temperatures, asbestos was used as insultation in pipes, digesters, and tanks, as it is a heat resistant mineral. However, breathing in asbestos particles left workers exposed to the harmful material, often leading to mesothelioma and other serious illnesses. Family members also were unknowingly exposed to asbestos when dust traveled home on the clothing of workers.
2. DuPont – Old Hickory, TN
DuPont is one of the largest chemical companies in the world. DuPont began its operations in Old Hickory, Tennessee in 1918 to make gun powder. At the time, it was the largest munition plant in the world, covering 4,700 acres and producing 100,000 pounds of powder a day. But, within a few short years, DuPont shifted the Old Hickory plant’s production to rayon and cellophane. It produced rayon and cellophane until it closed. Today, the plant property is still owned by DuPont, though it is now being converted into an industrial park. Workers at the DuPont facility, prior to the late 1980s, were likely exposed to asbestos in a variety of ways. Asbestos was used in chemical manufacturing facilities as insulation in pipes and other machinery. Additionally, asbestos may have also been mixed in with synthetic Nylon fibers or woven with nylon yarn to make it more durable and heat resistant. DuPont knew that asbestos could cause serious health problems but failed to tell its employees. Blue asbestos (known as “crocidolite) mined in South Africa was often used as gasket material in chemical plant applications, such as the Dupont plant operations.
3. Tennessee Eastman – Kingsport, TN
Founded by George Eastman in 1920, Tennessee Eastman is a chemical manufacturing company. The company began by making base chemicals for other products. During World War II, Eastman manufactured explosives for the U.S. Government. After the war, Eastman continued to grow, producing a large range of chemicals and plastics found in everyday products such as paint, adhesives, medical devices, fabric and upholstery, and even sports bottles. For years, much of the infrastructure and equipment at the Tennessee Eastman chemical plant contained asbestos products. It was common for chemical manufacturing facilities to use asbestos as insultation in pipes, gaskets, boilers, and other machinery to help the equipment withstand high temperatures. Unfortunately, this left many employees exposed to dangerous asbestos in the past, and this exposure has resulted in present health complications for these workers. Many workers from this job site have developed asbestos-related diseases.
4. TVA –Bull Run Steam Plant, Johnsonville Fossil Plant, Kingston Steam Plant
Regardless of their location, prior to the 1980s, power plants throughout the United States commonly used large quantities of asbestos to insulate high-heat equipment used to produce power. The asbestos materials often took the form of cements, gaskets and insulation in boilers, turbines and pipes. Power plants responsible for much of this exposure in Tennessee include three large coal-fired plants owned and operated by Tennessee Valley Authority, a government owned company created in the 1930s to provide economic development in the Tennessee Valley as the area was hit particularly hard during the great depression. The three TVA plants are: the Bull Run Steam Plant—built in 1962 in Claxton, the Johnsonville Fossil Plant—built in 1951 in New Johnsonville, and the Kingston Steam Plant—built in 1954 in Roane County. Together the three plants produce 3,700 megawatts of electricity. Many TVA workers who worked at power plants decades ago, and their family members, are just now being diagnosed asbestos-related disease including mesothelioma, a deadly cancer, as a result of their worksite asbestos exposure.
5. Combustion Engineering – Chattanooga, TN
Combustion Engineering, established in 1912, manufactures steam boilers and other fuel burning equipment. The company had an enormous manufacturing facility, with over 5,000 employees in its prime, in Chattanooga. Throughout much of the 20th century, it was common to use asbestos and asbestos-containing products in manufacturing boilers to help the products function properly. Combustion Engineering employees could have been exposed to asbestos while working with asbestos-containing gaskets, bearings, joint material, and cement, or while insulating the machine’s heated components with asbestos insulation, including insultation in boiler pipes. With this level of asbestos use, it would have been difficult for Combustion Engineering workers to avoid exposure. This exposure to high levels of asbestos left workers and their families susceptible to asbestos-related illnesses, including mesothelioma. Workers maintaining and repairing Combustion Engineering boilers at various locations throughout the country were also exposed to asbestos.
The attorneys from MesoLawyersCare have recovered more than $10 billion dollars for people diagnosed with mesothelioma nationwide. Our firm has successfully represented workers exposed to asbestos at worksites throughout Tennessee. For more information or a free consultation with our attorneys, fill out the form on this page, have a live chat now with one of our representatives, or call 1-888-568-1177.
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