Over the past fifty years, thousands of workers in Ohio’s paper industry could have been put at risk for asbestos exposure, including Smurfit Stone Container employees. Any amount of exposure to asbestos, long or short term, can cause serious health damage, including deadly cancers such as mesothelioma.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls mesothelioma “a fatal cancer primarily associated with exposure to asbestos.” Like many factories built and managed up until the 1980s, paper mills regularly used asbestos in many building materials as well as in integral factory machinery.
Because paper milling operations, such as pulping, involve very high temperatures, asbestos was used to insulate many areas in the workplace. Workers who were exposed may still be at risk of developing deadly asbestos-related diseases. Because of the long latency period (20-40 years) of conditions like asbestosis and mesothelioma, some cancers and illnesses may not be diagnosed until decades after initial exposure.
Unfortunately, the problem is still current with an estimated 1.3 million U.S. industry workers potentially exposed to asbestos at their place of work.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Ohio Asbestos Lawyer and toxic exposure attorney reviewing Smurfit Stone Container asbestos exposure. Related paper and container companies include the following:
Because of the way factories in the Ohio paper industry were constructed, almost anybody who worked in paper mills in the last 50 years could have been exposed to toxic materials on a daily basis. Particularly before the 1980s, paper mills were constructed with industrial adhesives, ceiling and floor tiles and cement that contained asbestos.
Because pulping and boiler operations involve high heat, asbestos was used to insulate most of the piping in factories. Consequently, any Smurfit Stone worker who worked in an area of a building with aging and deteriorating materials may have been unknowingly inhaling asbestos fibers.
Asbestos was also used in wall insulation, roofing shingles and siding, for fire prevention. As a result, large amounts of asbestos dust collected in the air, which exposed almost any worker in the plant.
When workers breathe in these toxins for long periods of time, the fibers can become lodged in the tissue surrounding the lungs, causing inflammation and scarring, and may lead to asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma.
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Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.
The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.
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Symptoms of mesothelioma are often mistakes for minor illnesses, and when symptoms present themselves, the disease is usually in its later stages. Some signs present as the following:
Paper mill workers may have been exposed to asbestos during different stages in the manufacturing process. Some of those positions affected include the following:
Maintenance staff at paper mills faced some of the highest risks of toxic exposure. Maintenance workers, responsible for the inspection and repair of machinery, dismantled machines and opened passageways, often leading to the inhalation of loose asbestos fibers from the insulation and heating elements.
One study found that among paper industry employees, the majority of fatal asbestos exposure occurred in maintenance workers.
During the paper drying process, dryer felts were commonly used to remove excess moisture. This process posed particular hazards because the dryer felts, or fabrics, contained asbestos.
Dryer felts had to be replaced quite often, and new felt was cut for the machines. When these materials were regularly maintained, asbestos fibers were released from dryer felts in drying machines, further endangering maintenance employees.
Several international health agencies have raised concerns over the safety of working in paper mills. The American Journal of Epidemiology published a conclusive study conducted by Johns Hopkins researchers that found mill workers were “at increased risk of dying from lung cancer and mesothelioma, probably due to exposure to asbestos.”
A study published in 2010 by the Public Health Agency of Canada found that asbestos exposure among paper and pulp mill workers has been linked to an increased risk of developing cancer. They note that the increased risk “relates to lung and pleural cancers and asbestos exposure.”
In 2002, a European study for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) examined over 60,000 men from 13 different countries who had worked for a period of at least one year in the pulp and paper industry in the last 60 years. The study concluded that 36 percent of these workers had been exposed to asbestos fibers.
A Swedish study in 2001 showed an increased risk of mesothelioma among paper mill workers. Over 70 percent of the victims had been exposed to asbestos, the majority working as maintenance workers in the factories.
Prominent asbestos attorneys have filed claims against the following companies, stating they provided dangerous products, and endangered thousands of workers in Ohio and around the country:
Below are some of the Ohio paper industry employers that may have exposed workers to asbestos:
Any current or former employee in the Ohio paper industry may have been exposed to toxins in an unsafe work environment. Victims of paper mill asbestos exposure may have a claim against an employer. Attorneys in Ohio have filed numerous lawsuits, claiming employers have been negligent for the following:
Many experience asbestos exposure through the workplace. Workplaces may have been filled with toxic materials, and employers may have failed to warn of the serious health risks of the job. Filing a suit helps to raise the awareness of job safety.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was first utilized in the early 1900s for its insulating abilities, fire-resistant properties, and versatility. It has been estimated that over 30 million tons of asbestos was used in the American economy in industrial yards, homes, schools, shipyards, and other workplaces.
The natural breakdown of asbestos products and subsequent sawing or cutting of the asbestos creates dust and fibers that are inhaled and can lead to mesothelioma and other severe forms of lung cancer.
When asbestos breaks down over time or with use, the fibers of the material can become airborne, presenting a risk of inhaling or ingesting the toxin. Asbestos is a cancer-causing agent, and those heavily exposed can develop scarring in the lungs and later develop lung cancer, mesothelioma and other cancers.
Asbestos was widely used in piping, insulation, electrical components, machine parts, packaging, flooring, ceiling tiles, roofing, and in many building materials.
If you were exposed to asbestos at your workplace, and have developed cancer or a related illness, you are likely to qualify for compensation.
Asbestos was cheap, durable, fire-resistant and light, and was though to be the perfect insulating material before research showed it was extremely hazardous to the health.
The success rates of settlements regarding asbestos exposure injury are quite high. It may be necessary to prove that occupational exposure is the primary cause of lung cancer or mesothelioma, though this is the job of The Lyon Firm, and we have experience in reaching large mesothelioma settlements.
Our Firm will help you find the answers. The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered.
Experience: Joe Lyon is an experienced Asbestos Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 19 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Asbestos lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.
Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every toxic exposure discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.
Results: Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure asbestos settlements.
Asbestos can be found in factories, warehouses, hospitals, schools, homes built before 1980, construction sites, and in many military installations. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), there are 75 different jobs that can expose workers to asbestos, with those jobs primarily involving construction and manufacturing. Thousands of American workers are still exposed to asbestos each year.
Mesothelioma is a serious illness that has been linked to asbestos exposure in medical literature. It is estimated that there will be thousands of new cases due to the latency period of 20-50 years after being first exposed to asbestos.
The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to asbestos exposure.