Asbestos Risks in Utilities: HVAC and Power Plant Workers

Asbestos exposure is not uncommon in individuals who work or continue to work in the utilities industry, especially HVAC and power plant workers. Asbestos was frequently utilized in HVAC units and power plants because of its remarkable resistance to heat and durability. These qualities are also why it was used in air duct systems, fireplace ducts, caulk, firebrick, compounds, adhesives, plaster, steam pipes, insulation, gaskets, flooring, cement, plumbing, ceiling tiles, and more.

Throughout the 20th century, coal-fired plants, steam plants, hydroelectric plants, and nuclear power plants required generators, turbines, and boilers for their processes. Unfortunately, this machinery often housed asbestos-containing parts and insulations, putting the utility industry and its workers at significant risk any time the machinery was in use, being inspected, being repaired, or damaged – which could cause asbestos fibers to become airborne and risk inhalation.

Local utility job sites that may pose a risk of asbestos exposure include but are not limited to:

  • Del Ray Powerhouse
  • Beacon Street Powerhouse
  • Trenton Channel Powerhouse
  • Monroe Powerhouse
  • St Clair Powerhouse
  • Marysville Powerhouse
  • Seven Sisters (Connors Creek)
  • River Rouge Powerhouse
  • Belle River Powerhouse
  • Pennsalt Powerhouse
  • Wyandotte North
  • Wyandotte South

Products used by utility workers that may contain asbestos include but are not limited to:

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