Asbestos Exposure & Mesothelioma in Virginia
Virginia ranks among the top 10 states for asbestos related deaths in the nation. While Virginia is known for its successful agriculture sector, the state also has a long history of industrial activity. Industries such as mining, aerospace, technology development, and military, are the most lucrative in the state, but unfortunately have left many residents of Virginia exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. The energy production, manufacturing, and construction processes required in these industries used asbestos throughout the 20th century. Exposure to asbestos has resulted in many Virginian workers developing the deadly disease mesothelioma—a type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
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 Virginia and across the United States. While workers and their families may become exposed to asbestos at a number of different locations, the following Virginia worksites present known heightened risks for exposure to past and present workers.
1) Norfolk Naval Shipyard – Portsmouth, VA
The Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) opened in 1767 and is still in use today. It is one of the oldest and largest shipyards in the world. The NNSY belongs to the U.S. Navy and is used for many different activities related to ships. Workers at the yard specialize in repairing, converting, and modernizing large ships and submarines. While the use of asbestos has since been phased out, asbestos was once a major component of ships and submarines where excessive heat was generated by power equipment. The fire-resistant qualities made it useful in insulating and sealing high-heat equipment on ships and submarines. However, this means that many people who worked at the NNSY site prior to the 1990s was likely exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. It was common for workers to be exposed to asbestos at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard from the overhaul, renovation and repair of Navy vessels. Shipyard workers, and Navy sailors working below deck on the ships, were put at risk as the result of inadequate warnings about the hazards of asbestos.
2) Newport News Shipbuilding – Newport News, VA
A division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, Newport News Shipbuilding is the largest industrial employer in the state of Virginia. Newport News Shipbuilding has built over 800 ships since its founding in 1886 (then called the Chesapeake Dry Dock and Construction Co.) The company specializes in building large aircraft carriers for the U.S. Navy as well as constructing submarines. Many workers who were employed at the Newport News Shipbuilding site were likely exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos, as asbestos was commonly used in shipbuilding before the 1990s. Asbestos exposure often occurred when asbestos-containing materials were disturbed during the construction of ships, leaving many workers at risk for developing asbestos related illnesses. Many work activities at the Newport News Shipyard caused significant exposures to asbestos. For example, workers frequently scraped asbestos-containing gaskets off the surfaces of pipes and equipment. This resulted in the creation of airborne asbestos dust, which causes mesothelioma.
3) Bremo Bluff Power Station – Bremo Bluff, VA (Dominion Energy)
The Bremo Bluff Power Station was originally built in 1931 by Virginia Electric & Power. The plant originally had two coal units, with another two built in 1950 and 1958. The power station is now owned and operated by Dominion Energy. It has the capacity to produce 240 megawatts of energy, that is sent to a 30,000 square mile area. Two of the power units were retired in 1972, and in 2014 the remaining two units were converted to burn natural gas. As in other power plants, workers at Bremo Bluff Power Station were regularly exposed to asbestos in insulation, gaskets, packing, piping, equipment, and protective gear as asbestos was used for its insulating and sealing qualities. These workers were not warned about the dangers of asbestos and, even years after their exposure, are at risk for developing mesothelioma. Power Stations, such as this one, were powered by massive piece of high-heat, power-generating equipment that required the use of asbestos to function properly.
4) Westvaco Paper Mill – Covington, VA
Covington, Virginia is a small mill town located in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. The center of the town is the Westvaco Paper Mill, which has been in operation since 1890. It is one of the longest-running paper mills in the nation. Many 20th century paper mills used asbestos containing materials primarily because of the need to insulate and seal high-heat machinery used in the paper product manufacturing process. As a result, through no fault of their own, many past workers at Westvaco Paper Mill were exposed to asbestos. Their family members were also put at risk of asbestos related illnesses when employees brought asbestos dust home on their clothing. Paper mills have been common sites of asbestos exposure throughout the United States due to the nature of the work and lack of protection for workers.
5) Georgia Pacific – Milford, VA
Georgia Pacific is a large global manufacturing company. The company was founded in 1927 as a hardwood wholesaler by Owen Robertson Cheatham. Georgia Pacific grew significantly and is now famous for producing tissue, pulp, paper, packaging, and building products including wood panels, plywood, and lumber. For years, Georgia Pacific manufactured products that contained asbestos, specifically a building putty material called joint compound. The United States government banned the use of asbestos in joint compound in 1978. Although Georgia Pacific eventually stopped manufacturing asbestos containing products, many workers were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. Georgia Pacific failed to adequately warn workers regarding the dangers of asbestos and keep the workplace safe. In addition, consumers used Georgia-Pacific joint compounds were exposed to significant levels of asbestos when mixing or sanding the product. This often occurred in houses or apartment, resulting inf family members being put at risk.
The attorneys from MesoLawyersCare have won more than $10 billion dollars for people with mesothelioma and their families. Our firms have successfully represented workers exposed to asbestos at worksites in Virginia and throughout the United States. For more information or a free consultation, fill out the form on this website page, have a live chat now with one of our dedicated representatives, or call our offices now.
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