Located on the east side of the Duwamish River, Boeing Plant 2 has been the finishing station for some of the most elaborate aircraft Boeing has ever constructed. The site was spawned of Boeing’s successful manufacturing operations outside of Seattle. As one of the area’s largest employer’s, the company chose to expand to different areas to ensure continuous growth and quick access to manufacturing-critical resources – mainly water. Boeing’s economic contributions to Washington state are impossible to ignore. However, their success was frequently built on the safety and welfare of their employees.
The manufacture of airplanes often involves the use of asbestos. Like navy vessels, airplanes are built to rigorous standards, including fireproofing and insulation. Boeing Plant #2 was located south of Seattle – away from the primary testing fields – meaning it was where many planes were constructed. The nature of asbestos means that anyone working in the same hangar area as a plane under construction may have been exposed. Those working on the inner cabin may have been at greatest risk – the restrictive environment and poor ventilation would have made asbestos concentration significantly worse than in the more open areas of the facility. Moreover, the power plants of these facilities require a great deal of insulation. Generators are frequently insulated with asbestos, as it makes an excellent heat shield. Handling and replacing worn and aging asbestos insulation increases the amount of material in the air.
In most situations, asbestos is fairly inert. As the material ages, it becomes prone to shedding, filling the air with dangerous fibers. If those fibers are inhaled, they may become embedded deep in the lungs. Exposure is cumulative – the lungs never fully eliminate the contagion. Instead, the effort to remove the offending fibers causes more damage. Over time, this damage and scarring can lead to respiratory infections, cancer, and, the most serious of asbestos illnesses, mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that attacks the outer lining of the lungs and other internal organs. The illness is directly linked to asbestos exposure. There is no cure, and it is reportedly one of the most painful varieties of cancer. Industries could have avoided this fate for their employees – providing basic education and the simplest of protective equipment would have been enough to mitigate the risk. They chose not to do that.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you deserve compensation from the industries that put their profits before your health. We can help you find security for you and your family – we know that illness doesn’t only impact the person who is ill. If you have any questions or comments, or if you’d like to discuss your legal options, schedule a free consultation. It’s our job to hold accountable those who abused your trust – either by greed or neglect. The placement of profit over employee health is completely unacceptable. With your help, we can send that message, loud and clear.