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Asbestos Exposure in Power Plants

Asbestos has long been recognized for its ability to insulate against things like heat, flame, chemicals, and electricity. Thus, it was once added to everything from vinyl flooring tiles to wall insulation for both regular homes and commercial buildings. Additionally, asbestos was a popular insulation for power plants, which typically contain large amounts of heat and electricity.

Pollution from Power Plants

Asbestos has been found in steam-driven, nuclear, and coal-burning power plants. Sadly, each of these types of power plants comes with certain environmental problems. Coal-burning plants can release polluting gases like carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide. Nuclear plants can have spills that release radioactive material. Steam-driven plants can pollute the air with by-products from whatever material is used to heat the water.

Asbestos in Power Plants

Because power plants typically deal with extreme heat as well as electricity, it is important that these structures are well-insulated. However, many power plants were built prior to the 1980s, when asbestos was not yet regulated. Thus, due to the highly insulating power of asbestos, this dangerous material was often added to power plants.

Sadly, power plants can suffer from breakdowns in which a cooling tower or burner may burst. Besides releasing more pollutants into the atmosphere, this can also spew microscopic asbestos particles into the air. Both people who work at the power plant as well as communities nearby can then have a carcinogenic, asbestos-laden cloud hanging above them.

For More Information

Frustratingly, even the most minor exposure to asbestos has been linked to deadly cancers like mesothelioma. If you have suffered from asbestos exposure due to working in a power plant or living nearby, you should discuss mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases with your doctor. For more information, please fill out the contact form located at the top of the page today.

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