Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma in Utah
Many worksites in Utah, such as oil refineries 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 stepped foot in a refinery, shipyard, or power station for many decades, you still could be at risk because it takes a while (sometimes 40 or more years) for symptoms to develop. Asbestos, once valued for its heat- and fire-resistant properties – has been mostly phased out in the United States; however, its legacy remains and some of those at risk 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 Utah and throughout the nation. While individuals can be exposed to asbestos in a number of ways, such as renovating an old building, the following list of worksites in Utah present elevated risks for exposure to past and present workers and their family members.
1. PacifiCorp Gadsby Plant
The 353-megawatt Gadsby Plant in Salt Lake City, owned and operated by PacifiCorp, went online in 1951 and primarily burned coal to generate electricity. The plant closed temporarily in 1987 for economic reasons, but reopened in the 1990s and was retrofitted to burn natural gas. As in other power plants built prior to the 1980s, when lawsuits and federal regulations prompted a shift to alternatives, the Gadsby Plant used large amounts of asbestos throughout its facilities and sometimes even in protective gear worn by certain workers. Former workers and their families may have been exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos that was used in materials such as insulation, gaskets, packing, and cements. Asbestos was used at this job site to seal and insulate high heat and high pressure equipment and surfaces.
2. Andeavor (Amoco) Refinery
The Andeavor oil refinery in Salt Lake City was first built in 1908 and operated by Utah Oil Company, producing kerosene, lubricants, and various greases. The refinery underwent a series of ownership changes throughout its history, most notably Amoco, before being sold to Andeavor (which operates the facility today) in 2001. The worksite, like so many other refineries built in the early- to mid-20th century, exposed numerous workers and their family members to dangerous levels of cancer-causing asbestos. Due to the high heat and high pressure equipment used at oil refineries, asbestos was used as an insulating material and in gaskets and packing used to seal equipment including boilers, turbines, pumps and valves. Asbestos dust would become airborne and get on the clothing of workers during the installation of equipment and during routine maintenance and repair activities
3. Hill Air Force Base (Ogden)
Hill Air Force Base in Ogden became operational in 1940 during the buildup to the United States’ entry into World War II. During the war, Hill Field (as it was commonly known) served as a round-the-clock maintenance and supply base, used for structural repairs, engine overhauls, and eventually long-term storage of surplus aircraft and flight equipment. At its peak in 1943, the base employed more than 22,000 military and civilian workers. The base has remained active throughout the 20th century and is now considered Utah’s largest employer. Military planes were built with asbestos-containing materials that were used in gasket materials, clamps, and brakes, and other aircraft parts. As planes became worn down, mechanics and maintenance workers (and those in the immediate vicinity) were prone to exposure to dust from new and worn asbestos-containing aircraft parts and thus have an elevated risk for developing mesothelioma.
4. Geneva Steel
The former Geneva Steel mill in Vineyard operated between 1944 and 2001, named after a resort that used to be nearby. It began as a U.S.-operated facility but was sold to U.S. Steel in 1946. Raw materials were shipped to the plant by train, where they were processed into various steel products. The facility also converted coal into coke (which burns hot enough for steel production) and formed steel into plate, pipe, and some other general structures. The mill was once the largest steel mill in the western United States, employing more than 3,000 at its peak and producing more than half of the region’s steel. Due to the intense heat needed to produce steel, Geneva Steel and other steel mills heavily used asbestos-containing materials so that the high-heat equipment used in the steel-making and fabrication process could operate properly and efficiently. Workers and their family members were unknowingly exposed to asbestos at steel mills because the companies who employed the workers, and those who manufactured and supplied the asbestos-containing materials and equipment, failed to warn about the hazards of asbestos.
5. Chevron Refinery (SLC)
The Chevron Salt Lake Refinery processes roughly 53,000 barrels of oil per day, much of it shipped via pipelines from Canada and elsewhere in the United States. Most of the refined fuel is used in Utah, but some is shipped to other nearby locations. The refinery became operational in 1948 and has been operating continuously ever since. There are about 740 workers (400 of them contractors) at the site. At oil refineries such at this one, asbestos was frequently used as insulation and sealing materials in equipment that reach high temperatures, such as boilers, turbines, pumps, valves, steam traps, and compressors. The Oil Industry had knowledge of the hazards of asbestos, as did the companies that manufactured and supplied asbestos-containing materials and equipment, but failed to take steps to adequately protect workers and their family members from asbestos dust. Unfortunately, the failure of industry and product manufacturers to protect people from asbestos exposure has resulted in thousands of newly diagnosed cases of mesothelioma each year, including many Utah residents.
The attorneys from MesoLawyersCare have recovered more than $10 billion dollars for people diagnosed with mesothelioma. Our firm has successfully represented workers and families exposed to asbestos at worksites throughout Utah. 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 today.
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