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Port Freeport, Shipyard

Freeport, Texas, is a deepwater port on the Gulf of Mexico, located a short distance from where the Brazos River flows into the Gulf. It boasts one of the most rapid growth rates of the Gulf Coast ports. Based on its foreign tonnage, it currently ranks 24th largest in the United States.

History of Port Freeport

Port Freeport was officially founded and formally dedicated by the Freeport Sulphur Company in November 1912. It was a European-American settlement of 300 people. A steadily increasing economic expansion of the port brought new people, and by 1939, the population had reached 4,100.

The Dow Chemical Company began construction of its Freeport facilities in 1939, and remains the largest employer there today. Dow acquired 5,000 acres on the outskirts of Freeport in 1942, the Abner Jackson Plantation. Lake Jackson Texas, a company-planned community designed by architect Alden B. Dow, was developed on that location.

Freeport merged with the Velasco, Texas, in July 1957. Freeport’s population at the time was over 11,000 people. Expansion continued when nearby Bryan Beach was annexed by the city in 2003.

How Port Freeport Used Asbestos

Asbestos is a tough mineral, and lent itself to industrial use based on its strength, its fire resistance and its capability to withstand intense heat. A primary use of asbestos in shipbuilding and repair was to insulate hot-running equipment and machinery.

Early in the 20th century, testing demonstrated asbestos to be the most cost-effective, and was considered the best insulating material. Shipyard use of asbestos included pipe covering and insulating; for packing, gaskets, insulation and tape. Its corrosion resistance made it ideal for protecting a vessel’s steel structure and its working parts.

The shipyard in Freeport employed a great number of workers throughout the years prior to asbestos warnings that were issued starting in the 1970s. Due to the nature of shipbuilding, nearly all of them worked in the proximity of asbestos-containing materials.

While protective gear for Freeport shipyard workers may have lessened the risk for some, protective clothing and gear worn at the time also commonly contained asbestos for its fire and heat-resistant properties. Asbestos was frequently used in protective shoe covers, gloves and face masks.

Legal Help for Mesothelioma Victims in Texas

Kraft & Associates, P.C., provides legal help for Texas victims of mesothelioma resulting from exposure to asbestos while working for Port Freeport’s shipyards. You may be entitled to compensation if exposure to asbestos caused you or a loved one to contract mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease.

We are a professional and established law firm. Our lawyers and staff are friendly and easy to talk to. Please contact us online, or call us at (214) 999-9999 for a free consultation and evaluation of your claim.