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Bestobell Steam

Bestobell Steam Company History

Bestobell Steam is a leading manufacturer of steam products, such as steam traps, float and thermostatic traps, check valves and other specialty products. Bestobell’s “claim to fame” is the Delta Element, a type of steam trap the company created 40 years ago that is long-lasting and effective at trapping steam.

Bestobell Steam is a division of Richards Industries, a Cincinatti, Ohio-based company that also runs several other companies that manufacture valves and related products. Richards Industries’ products are sold around the world for use in machinery in the chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical and food processing industries, as well as in the manufacturing of paper products, tire and rubber, machinery and electrical equipment, transportation equipment and in the energy industry. Richards Industries also has operations in China.

Asbestos Exposure at Bestobell Steam

A steam trap is a device, generally an automatic valve, that is used in industrial machinery to discharge unwanted gases without losing power-producing steam. Because steam and other very hot gases are constantly coursing through these metal devices, they must be built to withstand extremely hot temperatures.

To deal with this problem of heat, steam traps and other valves used to be made with a naturally occurring mineral known as asbestos. Asbestos – a mineral comprised of long, stringy fibers that can appear almost cotton-like – was used in thousands of applications starting in the late 1800s. It was a powerful insulator and fireproofer, which made it idea for inclusion in valves and other industrial products. Until 1984, Bestobell’s steam traps incorporated parts named gaskets that contained asbestos.

As workers spent more time around asbestos, it became evident that the substance was harmful to their health. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can become lodged in a person’s lungs and make breathing extremely difficult. In time, exposure to asbestos can cause deadly diseases like asbestosis and mesothelioma cancer, an inoperable form of lung cancer – though symptoms of these diseases can take years, even decades, to begin to appear.

Products manufactured by Bestobell Steam that are thought to have contained asbestos include:

Occupations at Risk of Asbestos Exposure

Mesothelioma can affect both men and women, and smokers tend to be at a greater risk – though exposure to asbestos tends to be the primary cause. Therefore, many types of workers who were surrounded by the mineral are at an increased risk of being diagnosed with the disease. Anyone who worked with or near Bestobell Steam’s asbestos-containing products in the 1970s or earlier could be at risk, such as machinists, steamfitters and boilermakers, as well as paper plant, food and beverage and chemical plant workers.

Unfortunately, asbestos has been known to affect the family members of these workers. Because the fibers are known to cling a person’s clothing, they can be easily transported from place to place and can injure a person just by secondhand exposure.

If you think you or a loved one could have been exposed to asbestos in Bestobell Steam products, take the time to learn about mesothelioma.

Recent News

Bestobell Steam – as well as its parent company, Richards Industries – have been named as a defendant in numerous lawsuits by people who claim they were injured by exposure to asbestos in these companies’ products.

Author: Linda Molinari

Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

Linda Molinari


Bestobell Steam Traps – History

Steam Trap – Wikipedia

Richards Industries – About Us