Aluminum plant workers are at a high risk for occupational asbestos disease
If you are a former aluminum plant worker suffering from an asbestos-related disease, you may be eligible to sue for monetary compensation. Discuss your case today with the personal injury law firm of Weitz & Luxenberg, recognized coast-to-coast for obtaining record-breaking verdicts and settlements.
The asbestos threat inside aluminum plants
Processing aluminum from raw ore requires extremely high temperatures and some form of heat shielding. The excellent fire and heat retardant properties of asbestos often made this the material of choice inside fiery aluminum plants.
Unfortunately for aluminum plant workers, asbestos causes cancer. Employers are required to know that and to provide workers with adequate protection.
Extracting aluminum from raw bauxite ore requires great industrial heat. It is necessary to heat the reduction cells to around 960 degrees Celsius (about 1,760 degrees Fahrenheit). These reduction cells are one place inside the plant where asbestos may be used for heat shielding.
Asbestos risks for aluminum plant workers
Typically, asbestos was wrapped around these reduction cells and any other conduits that carried heated solutions. Asbestos was then mixed with cement, and sprayed onto these pipes. The problem is that cement will crumble as it ages. As a result, the asbestos fibers flake off and begin to float in the air, where they are easily inhaled by unprotected aluminum plant workers.
The practice of wrapping heated pipes and conduits in asbestos-impregnated cement was also done to heating pipes in other industrial plants and certain institutional buildings. This practice was outlawed in most countries after 1973. Nonetheless, many asbestos-covered pipes still remain in buildings and factories to this day.
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