Houston is the fourth largest city in the U.S. and the largest in Texas by population. Its population is 2,160,821. Houston is one of the key economic centers of Texas.
Houston’s economy is mainly based on the energy production industry, especially extraction of oil & gas and refining. Other industries in the city include shipbuilding, healthcare, aerospace and biomedical research. As all these industries had asbestos in their facilities, most of the workers in Houston suffered exposure to the carcinogenic mineral. Because of this, numerous individuals worked in Houston have developed fatal asbestos-related diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma.
People suffering from asbestos-related ailments such as mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer may be entitled to substantial compensation. At present, asbestos trust funds have more than $30 billion for individuals suffering from mesothelioma and other asbestos-induced medical conditions. We can help you find the best mesothelioma lawyer in your city.
Houston Worksites Known for Asbestos Issues
Energy production industries and heavy industrial enterprises in Houston used products containing asbestos for a several safety-related purposes.
Oil drilling facilities and refineries sprang up after the discovery of oil in Houston in the 1900s, used asbestos in rigs and machineries due to its high resistance to heat and fire. Additionally, asbestos was present in the pipelines and several other components used in refineries.
Shipyards used asbestos in bulk quantities for ship construction. Shipbuilders including Todd Shipyards Corporation added asbestos to almost all parts of a ship. The dangerous mineral was present in boilers, insulation, engine parts, gaskets, and even in internal wiring for electronic appliances in order to protect vessels, cargo and passengers from problems such as friction damage and on board fires.
Vessels, particularly the ones constructed during the Second World War, contained asbestos materials within their hulls. Passengers and crew members unwittingly breathed in or swallowed asbestos fibers when they were released into the air in the confined portions of ships. Many of them developed mesothelioma and asbestosis later.
In 1973, the United States Environmental Protection Agency published reports connecting asbestos exposure to fatal diseases such as mesothelioma. After this, the use of asbestos in Houston shipyards and oil refineries gradually decreased. In the 1980s, shipyards, oil rigs and refineries in Houston started using alternative materials as fire retardant or insulation. However, many people are still developing asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma due to the high latency period of asbestos diseases. In the U.S., approximately 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are still being diagnosed each year.
Houston Refining (F/K/A Lyondell-Citgo Refining Company or LCR) is a 270,200-bbl-per-day oil refinery located on the Gulf Coast in Houston. The facility once belonged to American refiner Citgo Petroleum Corporation which is owned by Petróleos de Venezuela S.A (PDVSA), the national oil company of Venezuela. PDVSA sold it later to Lyondell Chemical Co and the name of the refinery was changed to Lyondell-Citgo Refining or LCR. Lyondell acquired Citgo’s stake of the refinery in 2006 and changed the name of the facility to Houston Refining.
Houston Refining is a job site known for asbestos-related health issues. The plant was constructed when the dangerous mineral was a popular additive to building materials. As a result, many former workers are now developing fatal asbestos-related diseases including mesothelioma.
As Houston is very close to the Gulf of Mexico, the city became a key shipbuilding community. Though several companies operated in the Gulf between 1914 and 2000 have closed down or changed their names, they contributed substantially to the industrial growth of Houston during and after the World Wars.
Many ships were built for the United States Navy and civilian operators, including hundreds of mass-produced Liberty cargo ships and warships used at the time of Second World War. Most of these vessels were built using materials containing asbestos. Shipyard workers as well as individuals who worked aboard these vessels were regularly exposed to the hazardous carcinogen.
Many shipbuilders used the Houston shipyard, including: Bloodworth Bond Shipyard; Brown Shipbuilding Corp; Houston Shipbuilding Corp / Todd-Houston Shipbuilding Corp; Platzer Boat Works; and Schmidt Barge Yards; Some of these shipyards, such as Todd-Houston and Platzer, are no longer functioning or have acquired by other corporates. For instance, Platzer built tank barges and tug boats at its facility located in Greens Bayou from 1925 until 1997. The shipyard was later acquired by First Wave Marine which operated the facility as a repair yard. The facility was finally closed in 2002. However, many vessels, which were built using asbestos-containing materials, are still in service.
At present, Southwest Shipyard is one of the major providers of refit and repair services for different types of vessels, including inland boats, barges, ferries, tugboats, and offshore supply vessels. The company started functioning in 1954 when the use of asbestos was at its peak in United States shipyards. Though Southwest Shipyard’s Houston facilities have taken part in asbestos abatement programs, numerous former employees should have suffered asbestos exposure. Additionally, many vessels served by Southwest Shipyard are older and contain large amounts of asbestos.
Medical Treatment in Houston
Dr. Anne S. Tsao, MD, Director, Mesothelioma Program,
1515 Holcombe Blvd.
Unit Number: 432
Houston, TX 77030
David C. Rice, M.B., B.Ch., B.A.O,
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Blvd.
Unit Number: 1489
Houston, TX 77030
Phone: (713) 794-1477
Dr. Stephen G. Swisher, M.D., F.A.C.S.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
1400 Pressler Street
Unit Number: 1489
Room Number: FCT10.5040
Phone: (713) 792-8659
Getting Legal Assistance in Houston
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases, you may be qualified for significant financial compensation. We can help you meet the best mesothelioma lawyer in your city. For further assistance, please fill out our online contact form or call us toll-free at 1-800-706-5606.