Asbestos Exposure & Mesothelioma in West Virginia
Located primarily in the Appalachian Mountains, West Virginia is famous for its thick forests and abundant natural resources. The Mountain State, as West Virginia is affectionately nicknamed, conducts nearly 15% of the nation’s coal production, and is also home to booming industries in manufacturing, mining, steel, and power. These industries have high incidences of asbestos use, putting West Virginia in the top five states for asbestos litigation. Exposure to asbestos, a heat and fire-retardant material, can cause mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer.
While the symptoms of asbestos related illnesses do not typically show until years later, anyone exposed to asbestos on the job can be at risk for developing these illnesses. The lawyers at MesoLawyersCare have successfully handled legal claims for individuals and their family members exposed to asbestos at worksites across West Virginia. The following five West Virginia worksites are examples of places that have presented an elevated risk of asbestos exposure:
1. Weirton Steel – Weirton, WV
Wierton Steel was a large steel mill founded in 1905 by Ernest T. Weir and James Phillip. The mill was built near Hollidays Cove, as the cove supplied the water necessary for steel production. During WWII, Wierton Steel produced record amounts of steel to aid in war efforts. After the war, however, the demand for steel decreased. Weirton Steel continued production until 2003 when the company filed for bankruptcy, and then sold to ArcelorMittal. Equipment used at the steel mill would reach extremely high temperatures. Asbestos was used as insulation on the equipment. Cements, as well as gaskets and packing, were other types of asbestos materials used for the equipment to function properly. As the machinery aged and was worked on, particles of asbestos became airborne and were then inhaled by workers. Inhalation of airborne asbestos can cause serious illnesses, including mesothelioma.
2. Allied Chemical – Moundsville, WV
In 1920, Allied Corp. was formed focusing on chemical, aerospace, automotive, and oil and gas industries. After WWII, Allied expanded to manufacture other products including refrigerants and even plastic dinnerware—the company changed its name to the Allied Chemical Corporation in 1958. Over the years Allied Chemical further ventured into the gas and oil business, and later acquired Honeywell, taking that name. Allied Chemical’s involvement in various manufacturing and production meant they used asbestos in their equipment to protect against corrosion and high temperatures. Asbestos was used equipment such as furnaces, pipes and pumps, valves, gaskets, cement, and insulation. Workers who worked with or repaired and maintained equipment and buildings at the Allied Chemical facilities were at risk of exposure to asbestos.
3. DuPont Washington Works – Parkersburg, WV
The DuPont Washington Works site is DuPont’s second largest manufacturing facility in the world. The 1,700 acre DuPont Washington Works site opened in 1948 and manufactures products for construction and auto industries. Presently, the site also develops materials that are used in consumer products such as toothbrushes and sports equipment. Employees and contractors at the DuPont Washington Works worksite were specifically exposed to asbestos while working with manufacturing equipment that contained or was insulated with asbestos. DuPont, like many other manufacturing companies, failed to take protective measures and warn employees and contractors of the dangers of asbestos, which left many employees exposed to fatal levels of asbestos. Companies that made and sold the asbestos materials also failed to adequately warn about asbestos dangers.
4. Union Carbide – Institute, WV
Union Carbide, a chemical plant that manufactured chemicals used for antifreeze in cars, was founded in 1917. The company quickly expanded by acquiring other chemical producers. During the Cold War, Union Carbide was involved in rocket research and development, specifically developing plastics, rocket motors, and liquid fuels. Union Carbide has faced scrutiny for exposing workers and others to dangerous substances, including asbestos. For a time, Union Carbide mined asbestos and manufactured asbestos products. As with many chemical plants dealing with flammable chemicals, asbestos was used in equipment for its insulating and sealing properties. From mining to working with asbestos containing equipment, many workers at Union Carbide were exposed to harmful levels of asbestos. Union Carbide asbestos was also used in many spackling compounds and paints.
5. John E. Amos Power Plant – Winfield, WV
Owned and operated by Appalachian Power, the John E. Amos Power Plant is a three-unit coal-fired power plant built in the 1970s. The plant continues to provide electricity for nearly two million homes. Like many power plants, electricity at the John E. Amos plant is generated by boilers—water is heated by coal to nearly 1,000 degrees and the steam created is used to power windmill-like turbines. Power plants built prior to the 1980s commonly used asbestos as insulation. The asbestos was typically used on high-heat equipment in order to insulate the machinery. The harmful effects of asbestos typically do not show until years later, so many former workers from the John E. Amos power plant remain at risk of developing asbestos related illnesses.
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 West Virginia. For more information or a free consultation with our attorneys, fill out the form on this page, start a live chat now with one of our representatives, or call 1-888-568-1177.
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