The mid 1900's saw the establishment of a steel manufacturing company that would become known as Evraz, Inc. Their headquarters were based in the state of Oregon, and as the company expanded they opened up facilities in other states even Canada. Like most other steel producing plants worldwide, Oregon Steel Mills used products that were made out of asbestos.
If you ask people today what they know about asbestos, the majority could probably tell you that it is a toxic material. Before the late 1970's, however, the general public was not aware of this fact. People knew that many of the products they spent time around while on the job contained asbestos, but they had no idea the mineral was toxic. Had they realized this essential detail, they could have taken steps to protect themselves from the danger they faced by simply being close to items that contained this potentially deadly substance.
Job sites like steel mills utilized a large amount of asbestos laden commodities. It was found in insulation, fire retardant clothing, bricks and various other goods. The people who worked close to any of these items were subjected to breathing in asbestos dust, which would cling to their respiratory system and remain there indefinitely. Once the dust entered the human body, it was liable to do massive amounts of damage. As the asbestos released its toxins into the victim, their once healthy tissue would start to decay. This would often lead to chronic breathing disorders, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
After the discovery that asbestos is toxic, governmental agencies like OSHA and the EPA started to regulate use of the mineral. It could only be used in a manner that would protect the people who created the products, and those who used them. All of the contaminated materials that were in place at locations like the Oregon Steel Mill were removed by certified experts and properly disposed of. Sadly, by that point multiple hundreds of people had been affected by the hazardous products they had worked around for years.
The symptoms of mesothelioma cancer usually take a long time to become noticeable, so even people who worked at this Portland based steel mill many years ago could still be at risk. If you or someone you know are among that number, you may be developing ailments from asbestos you ingested while actively employed. Contact your healthcare provider and explain your individual situation regarding asbestos cancer as soon as possible.