Chemical plants commonly utilize asbestos to safeguard their machinery from exposure to dangerous temperatures or hazardous chemicals. Some chemical plants even used asbestos in some of their products. Unfortunately, this use has put all employees who have worked or are still working in older, still-operating plants in danger of asbestos exposure.
Asbestos was used as insulation for boilers, furnaces, extruders, pipes, ovens, driers, pumps, and even the building itself. Personal protective equipment worn by employees, such as gloves, bibs, aprons, and more also contained asbestos fibers as the material is highly resistant to heat.
Today, the most significant exposure to asbestos that chemical workers face is in repairing, replacing, and removing asbestos-containing parts and materials or interacting with damaged asbestos-containing items. These situations cause dangerous asbestos fibers to become airborne, which dramatically increases the risk of inhalation for employees in the workplace.
A few of the Michigan chemical plants that potential exposure has been linked to include:
Products used by chemical workers that may contain asbestos include but are not limited to: