Working in oil refineries has always presented multiple health risks, which could include physical injury or exposure to toxic fumes and asbestos, known to cause lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma. Oil refinery asbestos exposure occurred in numerous Louisiana facilities like Exxon Oil’s, one of the world’s largest. Exxon workers were likely exposed in the past to toxic asbestos materials and later fallen ill.
Two of the most toxic materials present in oil refineries were asbestos and benzene, both of which are known now to heighten the cancer risk. In fact, there is an 85-mile corridor in Louisiana nicknamed the macabre “Cancer Alley,” due to the large amount of industrial facilities that not only emit huge amount of pollutants but exposure many workers to toxins at the workplace.
Cancer Alley, which runs along the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, contains over 200 petrochemical plants and oil refineries. This area accounts for about a quarter of the petrochemical production in the United States.
Why was asbestos used so much in oil production facilities? Mostly because it was an effective insulator and naturally resists extreme heat and flame, serious risks at any chemical plant. But unfortunately the health risks were not known or ignored and most Louisiana oil refineries took little precaution and failed to protect workers from the dangers of certain toxins.
Exxon Oil refinery asbestos risk includes serious health conditions like asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. If you have a documented diagnosis, contact Joe Lyon, a highly-rated personal injury lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of toxic tort and occupational cancer claims.
Exxon Oil Refinery Asbestos Exposure Risk
Oil production plants contain massive amounts of insulated piping that connect manufacturing and storage tanks. Piping, tanks, boilers, pumps, and other refinery equipment was wrapped in asbestos to cut the fire and explosion risks. When the material broke down over time, however, workers were put at higher risk of ingesting or inhaling the toxic dust. Asbestos fibers can get lodged in the lung tissue of those exposed and later develop into cancer.
One study stated that asbestos exposure in oil refineries directly caused pleural mesothelioma and called it an “occupational disease among oil refinery workers.”
Some of America’s largest corporations are oil companies like Exxon that employ thousands of workers. These oil companies have a duty to provide all employees with safe working conditions. When they fail to properly protect the health of workers, they are bound to compensate employees and families for medical costs, pain and suffering and lost earnings.
Workers in Exxon Oil plants who have developed related health issues may have claims against former employers as well as those companies who manufactured the asbestos products. Do not hesitate to seek assistance from an experienced and determined legal professional.