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Category: Asbestos Exposure

An image of a chemical plant in the distance with smog, representing the toxic exposures that can occur at plants like the Allied Chemical plant in Louisiana.

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.

Image of powder makeup and brushes, representing some of the everyday products people use that have been known to cause asbestos-related diseases because of the asbestos found in talc.

In recent years, there has been rising controversy over the discovery of asbestos in talc. You may be wondering whether you should avoid talcum powder or if you should assume you are at risk for an asbestos-related disease if you’ve been exposed to products containing talc. What is the truth about asbestos found in talc?

Facts About Asbestos Found in Talc Products

One fact that is not debated among experts is that many talc mines also contain asbestos. Geologically, asbestos and talc can form next to each other naturally. However, not every talc deposit is contaminated with asbestos. Whether talc products contain asbestos depends largely on where the talc is mined.

Is Asbestos Found in Talc?

Some talc is found to be contaminated with a form of asbestos known as tremolite. Tremolite is related to the one of the most carcinogenic varieties of asbestos, the amphibole group. Both tremolite and talc are created by the same geological processes, so it is not surprising that they are often formed next to each other underground.

Asbestos and Talc Products

The connection between asbestos and talc went undetected for years, resulting in the manufacture and distribution to the public of many products containing asbestos fibers.

Industrial talc has been used in the manufacture of a variety of products such as clay, chalk, ink, crayons, paper, pottery, and sinks. The existence of asbestos in talc is acknowledged and rarely a problem in industrial applications. Nevertheless, factory workers who have been exposed to industrial talc during the manufacturing process are among those at risk of asbestos-related diseases.

The discovery of asbestos in talcum powder and other personal hygiene products is one of latest asbestos controversies in the news. Companies have been promoting talcum powder for cosmetic uses since the late 1800s. Because of its ability to alleviate skin irritations such as chafing and diaper rash, talc has been a staple product found in almost every American household for many years. The dangers of asbestos found in talc wasn’t discovered until the late 1970s, which means that the number of consumers that have been exposed to talc is unknown and nearly impossible to determine.

Due to increased consumer awareness of asbestos exposure through talcum powder and cosmetics, many manufacturers, including Johnson & Johnson, have been named in lawsuits throughout the country. Because of the latency period associated with asbestos-related diseases, many people who used the contaminated products before 1970 may just now be developing symptoms.

Where to Turn if You’ve Been Exposed to Asbestos in Talc

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition due to exposure while working in talc mines, working in industrial factories, or by simply being a consumer of talc products, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact the asbestos and mesothelioma attorneys at Nemeroff Law Firm today. They’ve been successfully representing clients in asbestos-related matters for years and will put their expertise to work for you. Call 1.214.774.2258 or complete the online form for your free case evaluation.

A photo of an old factory representing the asbestos-filled workplace of the plaintiffs in Tooey v. AK Steel and how the lawyers at Nemeroff Law Firm helped these mesothelioma victims and are ready to put that experience to work for you.

Do you worry that your asbestos exposure was too long ago to bring a lawsuit in the Keystone State? If so, you need to talk with the mesothelioma attorneys who played a major role in changing Pennsylvania law. In November 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed down Tooey v. AK Steel. This decision found that two workers and their executors were not barred by the Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA) from filing legal claims against their employers for occupational disease that manifested more than 300 weeks after the employment ended.

Workers’ Compensation, Legal Claims, and Tooey v. AK Steel

While analyzing the PA ruling in Tooey, there are several issues to unpack including:

  • Theory Behind the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act
  • Exclusivity Provision of the WCA
  • Impact on Workers Suffering From Mesothelioma

The court evaluated each of these points before determining that the WCA did not bar the claim in Tooey.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

The Workers’ Compensation Act is intended to ensure that employers are compensating their workers for earnings lost due to their work-related injuries. Employer compensation for these injuries is considered a cost of doing business.

In theory, workers’ compensation laws are more efficient than a system in which workers file individual lawsuits against employers for compensation due to on-the-job injuries. Under the WCA, workers receive compensation faster and without the added burden of dealing with the legal system. In exchange for a quicker result, a worker may not sue the employer in court to recover compensation for work-related injuries. “Injuries” include actual injuries and occupational diseases.

The Facts of Tooey v. AK Steel

Tooey v. AK Steel Corporation involved claims regarding two former employees of different companies. The employees, John Tooey and Spurgeon Landis, had been exposed to asbestos at work but had stopped working for their employers in 1982 and 1992 respectively. Tooey was diagnosed with mesothelioma in December 2007. He died less than one year later. Landis contracted mesothelioma in July 2007.

To fall under the definition of an “injury” under Pennsylvania law—77 Pa.C.S. Section 411 or Section 301(c)(1)—the event must occur within 300 weeks or approximately five years and nine months after the last date of employment. Like many workers exposed to asbestos, both Tooey and Landis were diagnosed years after the 300-week period. It can take 20 to 40 years for mesothelioma symptoms to manifest.

Because Tooey and Landis were diagnosed well beyond 300 months, the court held that their claims were not covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Specifically, they were not bound by the exclusivity clause 77 Pa.C.S. Section 481or Section 303(a). This meant that they could file their lawsuits in court rather than being stuck with the Workers’ Compensation Act.

Tooey v. AK Steel: The Employers’ Positions

Tooey’s and Landis’ former employers argued that the 300-week time period was for the purpose of limiting the money damages employers would have to pay out for injuries and not to limit the jurisdiction of the act. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania disagreed, finding that the intention of the Pennsylvania General Assembly when enacting the WCA was to benefit injured workers.

The court in the Tooey case went on to say that, in the case of workers affected by mesothelioma, the original underlying purpose of the WCA could not be met. If the court adopted the employers’ reading of the WCA, a worker who was diagnosed with mesothelioma more than 300 weeks after employment would be barred from recovering any compensation at all.

The Nemeroff Law Firm Can Help

If your situation is similar to the facts of Tooey v. AK Steel, you need experienced asbestos lawyers who understand complicated laws and will fight to receive the compensation you deserve. Look no further than the attorneys at the Nemeroff Law Firm. They helped John Tooey’s family, and they may be able to help you, too. For more information or for a free consultation, complete our online contact form or call us at 866-342-1929.

Nemeroff Law Firm uses this photo of children in a classroom to represent the contrast between what we think our children are getting at school, a safe education, versus what they could be getting, asbestos exposure in Pennsylvania elementary schools.

Most American citizens think asbestos exposure is a thing of the past, but it is all too current a concern. Buildings from asbestos’ heyday age containing asbestos fibers that have long remained “safely” tucked away, are now leading to concerns about asbestos exposure in Pennsylvania elementary schools and in other schools all over the country.

Asbestos Exposure in Pennsylvania Elementary: Facts

In 2018, Olney Elementary School learned there were asbestos fibers on a frequently used hallway, and it claimed to have sent an environmental team to address the issue. Philadelphia reporters recently conducted an investigation of 19 of the district’s “more run-down” schools and discovered that Olney’s asbestos problem had actually increased, from 8.5 million fibers per square centimeter to 10.7 million.

The Philadelphia Inquirer said the amount of asbestos fibers found at Olney was “more than 100 times higher than the level that health experts say is cause for alarm.”

How Dangerous is Asbestos in PA Schools?

Asbestos is not like other breathable hazards; you don’t realize you’ve inhaled it because it causes no irritation or symptoms at the time of exposure.  Because there is no designated safe amount of asbestos, breathing in any asbestos fibers could lead to life-threatening mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases later in life. The amount of fibers and length of exposure increase the chances of developing a disease.

It is commonly believed that workers in construction trades are the only people who need to be concerned about asbestos exposure, but when you have deteriorating buildings releasing asbestos fibers into areas where people work and learn, anyone in the building is at risk.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that usually shows no symptoms until it is too late to treat, and it is almost always caused by asbestos exposure. Cancer usually forms decades after exposure, and awareness of the exposure and preventative testing are crucial to increase the chance of surviving mesothelioma.

Asbestos Exposure in Pennsylvania Elementary Schools Ignored

After the first report at Olney Elementary School, the district secured a metal jacket on a pipe in one of the problem areas of the school to reduce the chance of it shedding asbestos fibers. Even when the district spokesman, Lee Whack, was informed about the increase in asbestos at Olney, he only responded to say he would look at the areas mentioned in the report.

Have decision-makers in the school district addressed asbestos exposure in Pennsylvania elementary schools adequately? The education budget is reportedly strapped, resulting in repairs being put off and only partially completed. Large amounts of asbestos remain in the school, and have shown a notable increase in a very short, four-month period.

What to Do About Asbestos Fibers Found in Pennsylvania Schools

Schools built before 1981 contain asbestos, and some built since then do as well. That means any school may contain loose asbestos fibers, and many of the older schools contain extremely high amounts.

What steps can you take if asbestos exposure in Pennsylvania elementary schools has affected your family? Learn about the conditions at your child’s school, speak out about an asbestos ban and improving funding to school systems, and contact Nemeroff Law Firm.  We are mesothelioma attorneys who can help determine if you have a case for individual compensation or a class action lawsuit. You can reach us at 1-866-342-1929 or through the form on our contact page.

Image of patient getting a CT scan because the best asbestos attorney told him that early detection of mesothelioma is important.

Asbestos, when handled improperly, can be a deadly material. When people are exposed to asbestos or asbestos fibers, their health is instantly at risk. There are precautions that can and should be taken to protect people from asbestos exposure. If you were exposed to asbestos and get sick as a result of that exposure, or if you have lost a loved one because of asbestos exposure, you should find the best asbestos attorney to help you get justice for your loss.

What the Best Asbestos Attorney Wants You to Know About Mesothelioma

Asbestos was mostly used in manufacturing and construction. When the material is intact, it is perfectly safe to be around. However, if the material is damaged in any way, it can become deadly. People most commonly exposed to asbestos are those who work in manufacturing industries, mining, and shipbuilding, as well as those who work in the construction trades and the military.

Being exposed to asbestos is the most common risk factor in developing mesothelioma, a cancer that usually occurs in the lung tissue. This deadly disease can also occur anywhere in someone’s chest or abdomen.

Most attorneys have the experience to know that mesothelioma is a deadly cancer that is usually preventable when a company takes the proper precautions, but the best asbestos attorney understands the disease process, knows the asbestos manufacturers and other responsible parties, and has deep litigation experience and contacts to boot.

Early Detection of Mesothelioma

As with any cancer, early detection of mesothelioma will give a person the best possible prognosis. Still, the survival rates for mesothelioma are not very promising.

Lawyers for asbestos cases have seen the tragedy of people losing loved ones because of exposure to asbestos.

It can take 20 to 40 years or more for mesothelioma to develop after asbestos exposure. If you have been exposed to asbestos in your life, there are signs and symptoms you can look for to catch mesothelioma as early as possible. Some of the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma to look for include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in the side of the chest or back
  • Persistent cough
  • Voice hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing and feeling like food is getting stuck in your throat
  • Fever
  • Excessive sweating
  • Swelling of face and arms

These symptoms may indicate that you have mesothelioma, or they could be a sign of another serious illness. If you experience these symptoms, especially in combination, it is best to see your doctor immediately to get a diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. Experienced asbestos attorneys can tell you that the best chance for survival is early detection.

What the Best Asbestos Attorney Needs You to Know About Asbestos Exposure

Exposure to asbestos can be prevented through known protective measures that are required by industry standards. As knowledgeable lawyers for asbestos cases, we know how to find where a company failed, or cut corners, and put people at risk of exposure to asbestos.

Industry standards require companies to tent areas of asbestos breakdown to prevent asbestos fibers from getting into the air. Businesses are also required to provide employees with safety equipment to wear whenever they will be in contact with asbestos fibers. When these measures are not taken, many people can be at risk for asbestos exposure and future problems with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

Find the Best Asbestos Attorney

The best way to protect yourself from mesothelioma is to avoid exposure to asbestos. If that is not possible, the next best thing you can do is to monitor your health for early signs and symptoms of mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases. If symptoms develop, see your doctor right away. Early detection is the key to quality survival.

If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos, you will find the best asbestos attorney at Nemeroff Law Firm. With over 150 years of collective experience fighting to help victims of asbestos exposure, we will fight to recover what you and your loved ones deserve. Contact us at 866-342-1929 or via email.

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