LaPlace, Louisiana is the home of a steel mill that is owned by the Bayou Steel Corporation. The company produces a variety of steel products that are sold throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada. Since the company was founded, the majority of the people who worked there were inadvertently exposed to a poisonous material: asbestos.
When asbestos was first discovered in the United States, it was thought to be a harmless material that could be used to create a large number of different products. Manufacturers purchased the mineral by the ton and used it within a multitude of goods. One of the earliest and most common uses was as a base for insulation. Asbestos is strong, able to withstand extreme heat, and is a natural fire retardant, which made it perfect to insulate hot running machinery and keep it functioning properly. While this equipment was in operation, small bits of asbestos dust would break off of the insulating materials and contaminate the air. Since asbestos dust can linger in the air, the workers who toiled close to these machines would often breathe the dust in, where it would cling to their respiratory system.
Breathing in asbestos can bring about many harmful results. The toxic mineral can produce respiratory disorders that make normal breathing labored and painful. Over time it can also lead to cancerous diseases, most notably mesothelioma. Not only are these conditions incurable, they are also difficult to treat and they can be fatal. Over time millions of people were afflicted by asbestos poisoning and many of them lost their lives. People who were made sick, and families that lost loved ones at locations like the LaPlace based steel mill reacted by filing personal injury lawsuits against the companies that utilized these tainted products, especially after it became evident that many of the executives were aware of the danger and did nothing about it.
Exposure to asbestos often leads to very serious health complications, but they can take decades to develop. If you once worked at the Bayou Steel Corporation, contact your doctor right away and inform them of the threat you faced. Even if you stopped working at this facility many years ago, you could still be at risk of developing asbestos related disorder and diseases. The mesothelioma survival rate is known to be discouraging, yet early diagnosis and treatments such as mesothelioma radiation may help improve the prognosis for this cancer.