Petroleum refineries are industrial facilities where crude, unprocessed oil is processed and refined into a number of common products, such as heating oil, gasoline, kerosene and diesel. According to national statistics, there are more than 140 operable petroleum refineries across the United States employing more than 41,500 professionals, many of which are along the Ohio River or in the Kanawha Valley.
These facilities employ a variety of skilled tradespeople, including electricians, engineers, boilermakers, millwrights, pipefitters, laborers, operators, ironworkers and welders who all contribute to a petroleum refinery’s continued functionality.
Unfortunately, workers employed in these trades are often at an elevated risk for developing asbestos-related conditions, including rare and aggressive cancer. Among these is mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer that is caused directly by asbestos exposure.
Asbestos Use in Refineries
Many of the materials and equipment used in petroleum refineries contain asbestos. Because the mineral boasts strong fire-proof and heat-resistant properties, it became the go-to for manufacturers producing materials for construction and operation of refineries. It didn’t take long for asbestos to become a staple of petroleum refineries, since it serves as a strong thermal insulator in areas where heat or fire are a concern, and it remained that way for many decades.
Asbestos was also used widely in pieces of equipment, like conduits, pipes, pumps, valves, compressors, distillation columns and gaskets. Because this equipment can often be repaired, these pieces of equipment are still operating in refineries across the country and in our area which exposed workers to asbestos for many years.
Before the use of new asbestos products gradually declined in the 1980’s, many refineries would build equipment that contained asbestos on site, risking exposure to employees. This involved cutting products, like insulation, and applying asbestos-containing products, like gaskets and packing and other adhesives. Many workers may have utilized these products on a daily basis, elevating the risk for harmful asbestos exposure.
Have you or someone you know recently been diagnosed with disease stemming from asbestos exposure, like mesothelioma? If so, it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney as soon as possible, as you may be eligible to collect compensation or other damages for your condition. These funds can be important for those dealing with rare disease, especially an aggressive and treatment-intensive condition like mesothelioma.
Attorneys You Can Trust
If asbestos disease is impacting your life, we encourage you to contact the dedicated, compassionate legal team at Antion McGee Law Group, PLLC. Our firm specializes in cases involving asbestos exposure, especially cases where occupational exposure is a factor.
Our team of skilled attorneys can review the occupational history of you and your family, which can help pinpoint the most likely sources of asbestos exposure. From there, we can work with you to build a strong, convincing case that holds those responsible for your exposure accountable.
Let us work with you today to secure the results you both need and deserve. Do not delay – we can help you and your family today. Our West Virginia mesothelioma attorneys will travel to your home, hospital or another suitable location, should your medical condition prevent travel to our office.
To schedule your initial consultation with a member of our legal team, call the attorneys at Antion McGee Law Group, PLLC today at (304) 807-0739.