Resources for Patients and their Families

ABC Linen Plant

ABC Linens is located in San Antonio, Texas. Like many similar operations, this company manufactured textiles derived from the plants such as flax and cotton. These were, for the most part, items such as commercial bedding for hotels and hospitals, tablecloths, napkins, cleaning cloths for restaurants and similar items.

Processing and weaving linen has historically been a labor-intensive process. In the 20th Century however, the process was largely mechanized. Such machinery usually contained asbestos components because of the heat generated and the danger of fire. These components included gaskets and electrical insulation; during the manufacturing process, asbestos fibers often found their way into the finished product as well as the factory environment. In addition, the building itself may have contained any number of asbestos building materials.

There have been over 2600 confirmed cases of asbestos-related illness in the San Antonio area. It is possible that the ABC Linen Plant could be the target of litigation if one of these affected individuals or a family member worked there or was otherwise exposed to asbestos through the company's products.

Because of its ability to block fire, asbestos was commonly used within many job sites around the country. Ironic is that that protecting lives was usually one of the primary reasons behind utilizing asbestos in companies because the outcome was in fact to place employees at risk of serious illness due to contact with asbestos. The reason so many workers have died from health conditions such as pleural plaques and cancer of the lungs is that when humans inhale or ingest strands of asbestos, the mineral embeds itself into respiratory passages; once there, the tiny, jagged bits of asbestos damage organs. In addition, job-related exposure to asbestos is the primary cause of the almost always fatal form of cancer called mesothelioma, which affects the mesothelium, the tissue that lines the pleural cavity (pleural mesothelioma) or the stomach (peritoneal mesothelioma).

Those who work around asbestos in present times are usually safe from inhalation because of the extensive regulation controlling its use in products and disposal. However, in the past, laborers without proper safety gear often toiled in areas filled with airborne asbestos. Furthermore, if workplaces didn't provide facilities to wash off asbestos fibers, workers inadvertently transported asbestos home on their clothes or in their hair, which exposed spouses and children to the risk of mesothelioma disease.

Men and women who were employed here at any time in their job history, as well as their family members, are advised to learn more about these health conditions and tell their healthcare professionals about their history of contact with asbestos, because the symptoms of asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma can be mistaken for those of other, less serious conditions.

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