Because of environmental factors, steel mill workers and asbestos exposure has created a legacy of asbestos-related diseases for the industry. Equipment manufacturers used asbestos containing materials as insulation and fireproofing substances in the machinery used by steel mill refineries. Blast furnace and stove areas presented an extremely high risk of asbestos exposure. Industrial pipe insulation, gaskets, valves and other elements also contained high concentrations of asbestos materials.
Additionally, structural components of steel mill refineries like batts insulation, soundproofing materials and fire blankets also likely presented asbestos exposure risks.
Together, these elements created an environment that threatened workers with almost certain asbestos exposure. One study detected between 260,000 and 11,000,000 asbestos fibers per grams of dry tissue among steel mill workers.
Steel Mill Workers and Asbestos-Related Cancer
A high risk of exposure for steel workers corresponds to a higher-than-average incidence of related cancers. Laborers working long hours in enclosed conditions with poor ventilation often inhaled large concentrations of asbestos fibers. As a result, many steel mill workers contracted asbestos-related conditions, such as lung cancer.
In Pittsburgh, where steel mills employed hundreds of thousands of workers, asbestos-related lung cancers and mesothelioma remain a large problem. One 1996 study of a Pittsburgh steel mill worker found pleural thickening in 19 percent of participants.
Symptoms for mesothelioma and lung cancer conditions take many years — often decades — to develop. Therefore, former steel mill workers employed in the past 15-40 years still face a high risk of asbestos-related conditions. Even if the workers retired or changed fields within the latency period, they could still potentially attribute conditions like lung cancer or mesothelioma to occupational asbestos exposure.
If you or a loved one have received an asbestos-related cancer diagnosis and have a history of steel mill refinery employment, you could be entitled to significant compensation for your health expenses and emotional damages. Contact Mesowatch now to receive immediate assistance and a free, confidential case evaluation. With the assistance of our nationwide partnered legal team, you will quickly pursue the maximum possible compensation from all potentially liable parties.