According to a recent news article from the Bangor Daily News, an asbestos abatement (removal) project at an old mill location will cost around $16 million to complete. This location has been tested and is known to contain above-ground asbestos and other toxins, as well as underground toxins.
This huge factory was once a very profitable paper mill that produced tissues and bonded writing paper. However, like many paper mills, it used a large amount of caustic chemicals in the paper making process. Asbestos was used because of its natural ability to resist caustic chemicals, as well as fire, heat, and electricity.
Asbestos has been listed as the most commonly present cancer agent on the property, but there were also large amounts of dangerous chemicals, including polychlorinated biphenyl and lead. There are also smaller amounts of mercury, florescent lighting tubes, and old computer screens that contain heavy metals and gas.
Of the many buildings on the property, there were four in particular that were considered particularly hazardous to workers and the environment. One of these was used to house what is known as reclamation boiler. While we all use chemicals at home to clean the house, we typically just allow these chemicals to wash down the drain when they are done, and buy more when the bottle or can is empty.
However, most of these chemicals could technically be cleaned and used again, because they still contain active properties. However, nobody would ever do this at home, because it is not worth the effort and could be dangerous. On the other hand, factories will frequently filter or otherwise clean their used chemicals and use them many more times to save money, since they are likely very expensive. In the paper industry, they would take the used caustic chemicals that were applied to the wood pulp and save it. This used chemical is known as black liquor and can be boiled in what is known as a reclamation boiler to ready it for use again. These boilers were lined with asbestos to keep them from being corroded by the caustic chemicals and also to keep the tanks cool on the outside.
This was very dangerous to the workers at the factory when it was open, as they were constantly suffering asbestos exposure, as well as exposure to other toxic fumes. The workers would also have to replace portions of the asbestos from time to time, and that exposed them to the deadly fibers as well.
In addition to being toxic to anyone around the old boiler, these materials tend to break down over time and leach asbestos and other poisons into the water table where they can get into drinking water. While many people are aware that asbestos can cause mesothelioma if it is inhaled, it is also very dangerous if it is ingested. This is because mesothelioma can also form in the abdomen as well as the lungs and chest. If the asbestos forms in the abdomen, it is known as malignant peritoneal mesothelioma and is not only deadly, but can be very painful.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.
Asbestos removal from former Lincoln mill site will cost $16 million, December 5, 2016, By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Maine
More Blog Entries:
New Effort to Strengthen Asbestos Litigation, June 28, 2016, Boston Mesothelioma Lawyer Blog