Posted On: November 21, 2008 by Steven J. Malman

Illinois Chemical Plant Poses Asbestos Risk for Workers Following Chemical Leak

An agreement has been reached between Blue Island Phenol LLC and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to keep an Alsip phenol manufacturing unit closed until experts can figure out how equipment failures lead to a fire and chemical leak at the facility. The Illinois work incident happened in August after a power failure at the plant caused a loss in fuel that was used for cooling and providing circulation in the unit. This caused a fire to break out at the chemical plant, which disturbed the asbestos.

The potential for airborne asbestos is very likely. There also may be asbestos contamination in the groundwater and soil near the site, as well as some phenol contamination.

Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos exposure can increase the chances of lung cancer, asbestosis, pleural disorders, mesothelioma, and other illnesses. Mesothelioma’s latency period is anywhere from 15-50 years.

In the United States, some 8 million people in the United States have experienced asbestos exposure. Many US workers, including insulators, sheet metal employees, electricians, auto mechanics, and cement finishers, continue to risk exposure to asbestos. In Illinois, workers who were exposed to asbestos should explore their workers’ compensation and personal injury options.

The chemicals that were released at the Illinois manufacturing unit contaminated approximately 1 million gallons of water. In Cook County Circuit Court in September, Attorney General Madigan filed her complaint against Blue Island Phenol accusing the company of water and air pollution, failure to operate the unit in a manner that minimized the release of hazardous substances, and causing danger to the environment.

As part of the agreement with Attorney General Madigan, Blue Island Phenol will retain the services of licensed engineers to determine the degree of contamination. All areas where exposure to asbestos or any other hazardous materials may occur must be cordoned off, and a licensed abatement contractor must properly dispose of any materials that contain asbestos. Repairs and modifications to the phenol manufacturing unit must also be made before operations can resume there.

Phenol Unit at Alsip Plant Closed Until Cause of Chemical Release and FIre Detected, Illinois Attorney General

AG: Don't reopen Alsip plant,, November 14, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Asbestos Exposure, National Cancer Institute

Illinois Workers' Compensation Attorney Malman is dedicated to protecting the rights of injured workers. Contact Steven

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