For decades, American chemical plant workers faced health risks due to the widespread use of asbestos. U.S. chemical plant relied on asbestos from the 1930s to the early 1980s.
Asbestos Exposure Causes Mesothelioma
Asbestos exposure is linked to deadly and incurable cancers like mesothelioma, along with other non-cancerous diseases.
Once the health risks were widely known, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) worked hard to have asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) removed from American work sites. This removal process included all chemical plants.
It was no small task removing ACMs from chemical plants. Every plant had installed asbestos products in all production areas for seven decades.
Engineers identified asbestos as a natural insulation product for protecting hot processes. It was fire resistant making asbestos the ideal solution for flame control.
Chemical plant owners, designers, and builders once considered asbestos the perfect support component for safety and economics. Chemical plants are hot, highly-pressurized facilities full of toxic substances.
It seemed filling chemical plants full of asbestos had no drawback — until the health risks became apparent.