Many people know that mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer are associated with asbestos exposure. What may be less clear is that they continue to be real concerns in the daily lives of industrial workers today. This is particularly true for Louisiana chemical-industry workers, including those employed by Allied Chemical.
Allied Chemical in the Chemical Corridor
The Allied Chemical Corporation history in the Geismar/Carville, Louisiana area can be traced back to 1965, when construction began on a chemical and fertilizer production center. The plant was located in a 150-mile stretch of the Lower Mississippi River, now known as Louisiana’s “Chemical Corridor,” and began operating in 1967. Over the years, the Carville location has gone through a number of name changes, often referred to as the Geismar Plant and more recently the Honeywell Speciality Materials Plant. These name changes mirror the dynamic history of what is known today as the Honeywell Corporation.
Allied Chemical Plant in Geismar Has a Long History of Employment in the Area but at What Cost?
The Geismar plant has provided good jobs for many along the Mississippi River. As of 2006, Allied Chemical in Geismar employed around 400 workers. But a dark side came with that steady paycheck—exposure to a toxic substance called asbestos.
The Louisiana Department of Health has classified asbestos as a human carcinogen, which means it can cause cancer in the human body. When inhaled or ingested, these microscopic fibers can cause a number of devastating, incurable diseases that often do not show symptoms until decades later—10, 20, even 40 years after exposure. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has identified three major health complications that can be caused by asbestos exposure. They are:
- Lung cancer
- Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer found in the lining of the lung, chest, abdomen and heart
- Asbestosis, a serious, incurable, non-cancer condition of the lungs
Chemicals Produced at the Allied Chemical Plant Are Potentially Harmful to Workers and Families
These devastating diseases deeply impact not just those suffering with them, but families as well. In fact, it is not only the health of employees that is at risk. Family members can become ill from second-hand exposure when fibers are carried home on a worker’s clothing.
Since operations started in 1967, the Geismar plant location has manufactured numerous chemicals, including ammonia and urea, sulfuric and phosphoric acids, ammonium nitrate, diammonium phosphate and other fertilizer solutions. Currently, the Honeywell Specialty Materials facility encompasses several hundred developed acres and produces a wide variety of chemicals, including hydrofluoric acid, fluorocarbon refrigerants and Aclon resin.
The Continuing Effects of Asbestos Are Very Real
Despite government regulation and increased corporate awareness, a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that many asbestos-containing products are still in use and new products are still being imported into the U.S.
Additionally, government air quality standards for safe exposure are not always followed. That same report shows that annual mesothelioma deaths are on the rise in the U.S. (up almost 5% from 1999 to 2015), and a report by the Louisiana Department of Health reveals that Louisiana’s death rates are above the national average.
These numbers do not include those suffering from other asbestos-related conditions such as asbestosis, lung cancer, other lung abnormalities, and various non-lung cancers. So the number of workers stricken by asbestos-related illnesses is likely to be higher.
Help for Those Harmed by Exposure at Allied Chemical
The link between Allied Chemical and asbestos is well known. Allied Chemical Honeywell employees—past and present—may have been exposed to asbestos just by going to work every day. If you are already suffering or are concerned about potential exposure, Nemeroff Law Firm can help. Tell us your story and see if you are eligible for compensation. Please call us at 214-774-2258, complete our confidential online contact form, or visit our website to have a chat. We are on your side.