The International Paper Company produces a wide range of paper products, including office paper, consumer packaging (cupstock, folding carton board, etc.), paper, tissue pulp and more.
It began in 1898, a time when asbestos was starting to be used as insulation in factories, plants and machinery in a fast-growing industrial climate. The hazards of asbestos were unknown for many years, but suspicion that it was responsible for mesothelioma and other lung diseases started as early as the 1920s. This continued until the U.S. government began to ban much of its use in the early 1970s.
Unfortunately, many companies continued to use facilities and equipment containing asbestos without informing workers of potential dangers.
Because of the nature of their business, paper plants have an elevated risk of fire. Since asbestos is very heat and flame resistant, thousands of facilities and plants, including International Paper Company’s facilities, were built using asbestos insulation.
Asbestos was the darling of construction materials as it was resistant to high temperatures and provided excellent insulation. It could be found in walls and floors, and it was a mixed into the cement that formed corrugated asbestos cement roofing shingles and siding. Boilers, machinery and pipes were lined with asbestos.
Another danger of a paper plant is poor ventilation. When any exposed, broken or cracked asbestos fibers become airborne, the risk of inhaling these toxic components increases measurably.
Workers who are at risk include construction workers, installers of drywall and insulation, painters, pipefitters and those involved in any aspect of constructing or demolishing these plants. Workers in the plants themselves are also at risk, such as boilermakers and maintenance workers or any employee who was exposed to airborne particles of asbestos.
When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can cling to the lining of the lungs and remain there for years. Mesothelioma, emphysema, asbestosis and other pulmonary problems can result. These diseases are debilitating and often fatal.
It can take at least 15 years or more for these diseases to be diagnosed, giving them a firm foothold and significantly reducing the chances of successfully treating them.
A secondary risk of asbestos exposure affects people associated with workers exposed to asbestos, such as family and friends. Airborne asbestos fibers can settle on hair, clothing and other objects and be transferred to other unsuspecting people through inhalation.
Mesothelioma, a rare cancer, is caused only by asbestos. Anyone exposed to asbestos in the workplace, either as a manufacturer of the substance or by working in a plant that was built and insulated with asbestos, or by using machinery and vessels containing asbestos may have a claim if suffering from mesothelioma.
If you or a loved one was exposed to asbestos while working for International Paper Company in Texarkana and contracted mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, you may be entitled to compensation.
Let the law offices of Kraft & Associates, P.C., advise you about your legal rights as a mesothelioma victim. We’re an established and professional law firm with friendly lawyers and staff who are easy to talk to. Call us at (214) 999-9999 or contact us online for a free consultation and claim evaluation.