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Mesothelioma Fears Raised by Power Plant Asbestos Exposure

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is generally considered an occupational disease. So many American workers were diagnosed with mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos on the job that companies were required to provide billions of dollars in compensation, and many were forced into bankruptcy as a result. Despite the costs in both human suffering and money, there are still organizations that continue to use the deadly material in the workplace, risking the lives of their employees. A recent example can be found in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where a construction worker has recently filed a complaint with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) claiming that he was exposed at his job onsite at the Eversource Schiller Power Station to both mercury and asbestos.

The claim of asbestos exposure came to OSHA from an employee of Manafort Brothers Incorporated who was concerned that it could eventually lead to mesothelioma or another serious illness. His employer is a contractor hired by Eversource to take apart some old equipment. Though at this time OSHA officials are not taking steps to investigate the claim themselves, they have written a letter to Eversource instructing them to conduct an internal investigation after the subcontractor wrote to the agency claiming that “employees are not adequately protected while removing material containing asbestos and mercury.”

The letter, written by OSHA director Rosemarie Cole, stated, “We have not determined whether the hazards, as alleged, exist at your workplace and we do not intend to conduct an inspection at this time. However, since allegations of violations and/or hazard have been made, we request that you immediately investigate the alleged conditions and make any necessary corrections or modifications.”

Though the authorities at the power plant have expressed confidence that no harm has come to any of the workers on their site, they have also stopped all operations pending a complete investigation and correction of the problems as they exist. As for the employee who was exposed, he has undergone testing of his mercury levels and found that they are elevated. There is no testing available to determine whether his asbestos exposure will lead to mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related illness: these conditions have extremely long latency periods that will require that he simply waits to see whether symptoms of the deadly diseases develop.

If you or someone you love has been exposed to asbestos, there are steps you can take to get information about the risks that you face. For more information contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608.

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