Cincinnati Asbestos Lawyer and Ohio Mesothelioma Attorney Reviewing Asbestos Cement Exposure Cases
Before closing in 1970 due to tough economic conditions, Alpha Portland Cement Company employed hundreds of workers in Ironton, Ohio. The plant consisted of several buildings on a property of over 100 acres. When the buildings were recently demolished, they were targets of asbestos abatement, as it was well known that the company used asbestos not only in the products they manufactured and distributed, but in the buildings themselves.
In recent years, former employees of Alpha Portland Cement have developed asbestos-related diseases and died of mesothelioma, lung cancer and other serious illnesses. Medical research has shown that exposure to dust and fibers emitted from asbestos-containing materials can cause mesothelioma and other deadly cancers.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati Asbestos Lawyer and Ohio personal injury attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of toxic tort and mesothelioma claims.
Cement Plant Worker Exposure
Alpha Cement plant workers were responsible for mixing, forming and distributing a number of cement products that often included asbestos. Although the products were roughly 90 percent cement and 10 percent asbestos, it was enough to make the mix dangerous. The final mixture could be made into flat or corrugated sheets used for roofing slates, tiles, vents, gutters, or pressure pipes.
Asbestos was added to make the cement stronger, though as a significant cost, the cement plant workers came home each day with the fibers on their clothes and skin, exposing their families to the same dangers they faced throughout the workday.
The Hazards of Working at Alpha Portland
Workers at Alpha Portland Cement used pumps and valves in order to shift the flow of concrete from one tank to another. Asbestos-containing packing material was used in Alpha Portland Cement pumps and valves to prevent leaks.
Asbestos-containing gaskets were also utilized at Alpha Portland Cement in order to ensure a tight seal between pipe flanges, pumps, valves and other equipment within the cement pumping system. Due to frequent wear, workers at Alpha Portland Cement regularly replaced gaskets during maintenance procedures. When a gasket was replaced it caused asbestos dust to become airborne.
Exposure in Asbestos Cement Factories
Risk of exposure was almost certain in an asbestos cement factory. One of the most serious risks was opening bags of the raw materials by hand without respiratory protection. Removing and applying packing material emitted asbestos dust and fibers into the air which workers inhaled. Stacking asbestos cement sheet products, which added to the toxic dust into the air, was also a common issue.
Another other part of the plant process that led to large amounts of hazardous dust in the air was transferring products to the shipping department. Asbestos cement products were placed in elevators and conveyors, and the fiber materials could easily circulate throughout the plant. Other Ohio cement plants that may have exposed workers to asbestos cement include:
- Southwestern Portland Cement Company—Fairborn, Ohio
- Universal Atlas Cement—Fairborn, Ohio
- Lehigh Portland Cement Company—Wellston, Ohio
Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Signs and symptoms of asbestos-related illnesses such as asbestosis and cancers vary depending on where the cancer occurs. Mesothelioma, which affects the tissue surrounding the lungs, causes symptoms that may include:
- Chest pain
- Painful coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Unusual lumps of tissue under the skin on your chest
- Lumps of tissue in the abdomen
- Unexplained weight loss
Mesothelioma may lay dormant for many years, even decades, but once discovered it has usually progressed into a terminal condition.
Compensation for Victims of Asbestos Cement Exposure
The legal system holds asbestos cement plants responsible for maintaining a safe work environment for workers. When this responsibility is not met, these corporations and their remaining parent companies should compensate the victims of unsafe workplaces.
Plaintiffs and attorneys contend that asbestos cement manufacturers knew about the potential health dangers of their products and failed to warn their end users and employees.
Ohio cement plants, including Alpha Portland, Southwestern Portland Cement Company, Universal Atlas Cement, and Lehigh Portland Cement Company have been targets of asbestos litigation for exposing workers to toxic materials.
If you or a loved one suffered an asbestos-related illness after working at Alpha Portland or another cement manufacturer, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.