Mesothelioma From Workplace Machinery
Asbestos is resistant to fire and extreme heat, and does not expand or contract with temperature extremes. It resists acids and other chemicals and does not conduct electricity. Its high tensile strength and flexibility makes it useful as a binding agent.
For all these reasons, asbestos was the “miracle material” used in insulation, packings and fireproof coatings in thousands of industrial machines and products for much of the 20th century. There was just one catch — asbestos killed workers or caused disabling lung disease. In pursuit of enormous profits, employers and manufacturers of asbestos-containing products kept this knowledge secret for decades.
Wallace & Graham, P.A. brings 20 years of experience in holding corporations accountable for the devastation of mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases such as asbestosis and lung cancer. Our North Carolina attorneys represent clients across the nation and can associate with local counsel when necessary. Call 888-698-9975 for a free consultation.
Asbestos Exposure in Industrial Equipment
- Boilers — Lagging (insulation) in the multi-story boilers contained asbestos for its heat retention and fire retarding qualities. We have successfully sued the major boiler makers, including Babcock & Wilcox, Combustion Engineering, Foster Wheeler, Riley Stoker and Cleaver Brooks (packaged boilers).
- Turbines — The blankets around the inner casings on power generation turbines used asbestos to shield against friction heat and fire. We have won compensation from the primary culprits, General Electric and Westinghouse.
- Pumps and valves — The packing in industrial pumps, valves and gaskets must withstand high temperatures and pressures, and asbestos fit the bill. We are familiar with specific products commonly used in shipyards, steel mills, power plants, chemical plants and factories.
- Pipes — Plants had mazes of piping for water, wastewater, steam, natural gas and electrical conduit. Asbestos was cheap and effective for heat insulation and fire resistance, often applied by aerosol spray. Full-time pipefitters and insulators who erected and serviced the pipelines had extensive bare-handed contact, and anyone in the vicinity was exposed to the airborne asbestos fallout.
The machinists, mechanics, engineers and other crew who tended the equipment often worked in close quarters with the tools at hand — a hammer to open a sticky valve or pull apart stubborn pipe joints. Our clients often describe a working environment thick with dust as the banging and maintenance activity loosened asbestos coatings or pulverized packing material. The toxic dust was also carried home on workers’ clothes, resulting in second-hand exposures to wives and children.
Decades later, those who worked on boilers, in engine rooms and in the tangle of pipes and pumps are experiencing symptoms of asbestos disease. Asbestosis usually results from prolonged, direct exposure. But mesothelioma is not dose-specific — any inhaled fibers might later trigger illness, and each exposure compounds the risk. Some will die within months of diagnosis. With early treatment, they may prolong life for several years, but eventually the cancer is fatal.
Wallace & Graham, P.A. reconstructs the work history of clients who worked around boilers, furnaces, turbines, pumps, valves and pipes. We pursue compensation from manufacturers and employers responsible for the greatest or most recent exposure.
Our clients’ health is top priority. Contact us today to discuss your case in a free consultation with caring, accomplished lawyers. We see to it that victims get an accurate diagnosis and prompt coverage of medical expenses.