Dow Chemical Employees: Asbestos Exposure Risk

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Dow Chemical was founded in 1897 in Midland, MI. It is one of the largest chemical producers in the world. Dow Chemical has other Michigan plants and facilities in Marquette and Ludington. It has also employed tens of thousands of tradespersons who worked in the areas of chemical, construction, and utilities.

Many of these employees were exposed to asbestos during their time at Dow Chemical. As a result, some have been diagnosed with life-threatening medical problems like mesothelioma, lung cancer, and more. The Michigan-based law firm Serling & Abramson, P.C. understands the ongoing struggles of these employees. We are dedicated to advocating for workers and their families.

If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, reach out for a free consultation. Read on to learn what to look for if you’ve been exposed.

How The Dow Chemical Exposure Happened

Asbestos was used in chemical plants to protect and insulate equipment and piping used in the manufacturing process. It was also used to protect equipment from exposure to chemicals.

Asbestos was often present in boilers, furnaces, extruders, pipes, ovens, driers, pumps, and in entire structures as insulation. Personal protective equipment like gloves, bibs, and aprons also contained heat-resistant asbestos fibers.

Asbestos is used less frequently today. However, chemical workers are still at risk when repairing, replacing, and removing asbestos-containing parts and materials. Dangerous asbestos fibers can become airborne and be inhaled by employees. Asbestos disease occurs when tiny asbestos particles reach the smallest and most distant parts of the lungs.

The Signs of Asbestos Exposure

The most severe illness associated with asbestos exposure is mesothelioma. It’s a cancer that forms on the protective lining covering the lungs, abdomen, and organs in the thoracic cavity.

Mesothelioma takes a long time to develop: usually between 20 and 50 years after the first exposure. Common symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Buildup of fluid in the lungs or abdomen
  • Pleural effusion
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Chest pain, especially after exertion
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Abdominal pain
  • Painful coughing
  • Unusual lumps of tissue under the skin on your chest or abdomen

Various types of lung cancer are also caused by exposure to asbestos. Just like with mesothelioma, when inhaled, asbestos fibers lodge in the lung tissue. Over time, this can contribute to the development of lung cancer.

Common lung cancer symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • A cough that won’t go away (or gets worse)
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pain
  • Hoarseness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Infections that won’t go away or keep coming back (such as bronchitis or pneumonia)
  • Wheezing

Note: Victims of asbestos-related lung cancer often suffer from non-cancerous asbestosis, a non-malignant scarring of the lungs caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. This can happen before their lung cancer develops — sometimes 20 years or more after the initial exposure.

Trades At Risk

Serling & Abramson, P.C. has represented many Dow Chemical workers who were exposed to asbestos. As a proud Michigan-based law firm, we have longstanding relationships with many unions and trades, including:

  • Boiler Operators & Boilermakers
  • Bricklayers
  • Carpenters
  • Crane Operators
  • Drywallers
  • Electricians
  • Insulators
  • Iron Workers
  • Laborers
  • Maritime Workers
  • Mechanics
  • Millwrights
  • Pipe Coverers
  • Pipefitters
  • Plasterers
  • Plumbers
  • Railroad Workers
  • Roofers
  • Welders

If you have worked in one of these jobs at a Dow Chemical facility, you have likely been exposed to asbestos. If you’ve already been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease or are experiencing symptoms like the ones listed above, contact us.

A Resource That’s Here To Help

Serling & Abramson, P.C. is committed to helping workers in trades and various industries pursue justice. We’ve developed an expert understanding of the Michigan legal system and used our experience to recover damages and compensation on behalf of workers.

We don’t limit our pursuit of justice to just Dow Chemical employees. We’ve also helped employees from:

Here For Spouses, Too

People exposed to even small amounts of asbestos are at risk for health issues. This includes spouses who have developed mesothelioma from sorting and washing the laundry of a family member who came home from the chemical plant with dusty clothing.

If you’re the wife of a chemical plant worker and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, Serling & Abramson P.C. is available to help.

Defense In Second-Disease Cases

Maybe you’ve already had asbestosis (scar tissue in the lungs) as a result of your time at Dow Chemical and pursued damages. Many patients can also develop mesothelioma or lung cancer years later.

Serling & Abramson, P.C. has a long history of helping victims of asbestos-related illnesses file “second disease” cases. We get results that can compensate you for your suffering and provide peace of mind. Contact us for a free review of your case.