Marathon Oil Employees: Asbestos Exposure Risk

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History of the Marathon Oil Detroit Refinery

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Marathon Oil has a long history in the Detroit area. Its refinery in the southwest part of the city was built in 1930 and is a familiar sight from the freeway. It covers roughly 250 acres, employs hundreds of workers, and refines 140,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

The Marathon Oil Detroit refinery has a history of environmental violations, mostly related to the release of excessive chemicals into the environment. This has led to reportedly higher rates of asthma and cancer in residents who live in the surrounding area.

The carcinogen known as asbestos has also caused health problems for many workers inside the refinery. Thousands of tradespeople at the Marathon refinery in Detroit may have been exposed during their time there. Asbestos exposure can lead to health problems such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, or other cancers.

If you’ve received a diagnosis from working at the Marathon Oil refinery, contact the skilled attorneys at Serling & Abramson, P.C. We’re a locally based law firm that’s handled thousands of cases involving hazardous materials like asbestos, with a compassionate approach to its victims. We maintain strong relationships with local labor unions and offer a level of personalized care that’s unmatched — plus asbestos-related expertise that’s second to none. Contact us for a free review of your case.

How Refineries Expose Workers To Asbestos

There are many highly flammable materials inside an oil refinery. The primary source of workers being exposed to asbestos is its use in insulation on vessels that contain these materials. For example, asbestos insulation was applied to pipelines, cracking towers, gas recovery units, distillation towers, tanks, boilers, ovens, and other components.

The clothing and safety gear that was meant to protect workers from the heat inside the refinery — gloves, aprons, suits, shoe covers, face shields, and masks — contained asbestos. When workers utilized this clothing, they were at risk of breathing in asbestos fibers. In many cases, this exposure led to medical diagnoses of mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Other Places Workers May Have Been Exposed

  • The Trenton Mobil Oil refinery is another job site that may have exposed workers to asbestos
  • The Total Petroleum refinery in nearby Alma closed in 1999, but operated for over 60 years

Symptoms 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

Note: Mesothelioma can sometimes be misdiagnosed. Discussing your work history with your doctor can help lead them to a proper diagnosis.

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.

Refinery Workers Who Could Be At Risk

Serling & Abramson, P.C. has represented many refinery 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
  • Electricians
  • Insulators
  • Iron Workers
  • Laborers
  • Mechanics
  • Millwrights
  • Pipe Coverers
  • Pipefitters
  • Plumbers
  • Roofers
  • Welders

If you have worked in one of these jobs at an oil refinery, 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.

Things Only Experts Consider

Serling & Abramson, P.C. has decades of experience representing workers in Michigan who have experienced health issues after asbestos exposure in the workplace. You can trust us to be thorough and leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of your compensation, asking questions like:

Was anyone else in your home exposed to asbestos as a result of your employment? Your spouse could have breathed in asbestos dust while doing laundry or handling your work clothes. If they’ve been diagnosed with a related illness, let us know.

Have you already filed a suit against Marathon Oil — but have new symptoms? Having an illness that’s related to your previous one means you may have grounds for a “second disease” case. We’ll review the details and discuss your options.