Workplace Asbestos Exposure: Power Plants
Power plants play an instrumental role in society. To begin with, power plants produce electricity, which is essential to modern living. Additionally, power plants provide jobs to thousands of workers who operate and maintain power plant equipment. Unfortunately, power plants also expose their workers to asbestos, which can cause severe and sometimes fatal diseases.
Asbestos Use at Power Plants
To produce electricity, power plants require large machines. These machines operate at extremely high temperatures, creating a fire risk. To minimize the risk of fire, power plant machinery and equipment are often lined with insulation containing asbestos.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material with fire and heat resistant properties. In fact, asbestos is unaffected by extreme temperatures and chemicals. Some of the power plant machinery and equipment that may contain asbestos containing materials include:
Asbestos Dangers at Power Plants
Asbestos is dangerous when its fibers are released into the air and inhaled. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, the fibers remain lodged in the lungs and the body’s immune system cannot destroy them. This can cause severe and fatal diseases, such as:
- mesothelioma (a rare cancer that affects the lining that surrounds the lungs)
- asbestosis (a respiratory disorder caused by lung tissue scarring)
- lung cancer
- esophageal, stomach, colon, or rectum cancer
Asbestos fibers become airborne when asbestos containing materials are cut, broken, or disturbed. Because power plant workers often repair and move asbestos containing materials, they contribute to releasing large amounts of asbestos fibers into the air. Unaware that asbestos is dangerous, most power plant workers who were employed before the 1980s wore no protective clothing or respiratory gear. As a result, many former power plant workers have become ill with asbestos-related diseases or could become ill in the future.
Injured by Asbestos while Working at a Power Plant?
If you or a loved one has been injured by asbestos exposure that occurred while working at a power plant and diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, please contact us today as you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.