Western Electric Asbestos Exposure may lead to lung cancer and asbestos illness for employees
Under the direction of AT&T in the 1950s, Western Electric, an American electrical engineering and manufacturing company, opened a large production facility in Columbus, Ohio.
The Columbus Works site, located on the east side of the city, officially began operating in 1957, and employed thousands of workers for decades until it closed. The production site became the primary manufacturing site for the company’s crossbar switches.
Western Electric manufactured switching systems and a variety of other electrical products including telephones, typewriters, alarms, and lighting. Many of the products were made with asbestos-containing machines, endangering many workers on the production floor.
The facilities themselves were also insulated with asbestos, putting many Columbus workers at risk of later developing asbestosis, and deadly cancers like lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Former Western Electric Plant workers at the Columbus, Ohio location could be at risk of developing serious health issues, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
Asbestos in Columbus Western Electric
Located at 6200 East Broad Street in Columbus, Ohio, the Western Electric Columbus Works plant specialized in producing switching boards and cell sites with wireless electrical components. At its peak, the plant employed over 12,000 workers, each of whom may have been put at risk of asbestos exposure and later developing mesothelioma.
Asbestos was used in dozens of materials used in the manufacturing process and machine maintenance at Western Electric. Any worker who directly handled asbestos-containing material is at risk for developing mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Asbestos insulation was regularly used to line certain enameling machines—machines used at Western Electric to melt enamel onto copper wires, used in the components of telephone equipment. When staff maintained or repaired the machines, loose asbestos fibers were known to be released, which workers easily inhaled.
In addition to the machines, Western Electric buildings at the Columbus Works plant were heated by steam boilers. Much of the heating equipment, including pipes, pumps and boilers, were covered with asbestos insulation.
Boiler workers, pipefitters and maintenance crew performing maintenance or repairs were in direct contact with asbestos, and may develop mesothelioma or asbestosis as a result of heavy occupational exposure.
Symptoms of Asbestos-Related Disease
Because mesothelioma and asbestosis can lay dormant for decades, symptoms may not present until many years after first exposure. When symptoms appear, however, they may include the following:
• Chest Pains
• Pain in the lower back
• Lumps on chest and abdomen
• Trouble breathing
• Trouble swallowing
• Weight loss
According to research published by the National Cancer Institute, asbestos exposure affects individuals by the following determining factors:
• Amount of asbestos involved
• Duration of exposure
• Specific chemical makeup of the asbestos fibers
• Source of exposure
• Personal risk factors, such as smoking and existing lung conditions
Western Electric Plant Lawsuits
Former employees at the Columbus Works production site are at risk for developing an asbestos-related illness many years after initial exposure. Should victims fall ill and trace their medical conditions back to toxic materials at their former workplace, they may have a claim against Western Electric.
Lawyers argue that Western Electric and other American manufacturers knew about the dangers of asbestos, and failed to properly protect their employees. Most workers were not aware of the dangers of asbestos dust and performed their duties without protective gear. Many former workers have contacted experienced Ohio attorneys, and filed lawsuits that may recover medical expenses and rightful compensation.
Western Electric Plant Asbestos
If you or a loved one suffered an asbestos-related illness after working at Western Electric in Columbus, Ohio, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.