Truck drivers and railcar workers were exposed to asbestos when they delivered and unloaded asbestos-containing plastic molding compound. Plastic molding compound was typically packaged in fifty-five-gallon cardboard barrels or fifty-pound paper bags, and it was shipped on wooden pallets by rail or by truck. Plastic molding compound is granular in composition, with a dusty coating. A tow motor or hand-truck assisted truck drivers when they loaded and unloaded pallets of asbestos-containing plastic molding compound. When a tow motor or hand-truck was not available, the bags and barrels were moved by hand. During transport, bags and barrels had a tendency to break open or rip, causing plastic molding compound to spill out. Exposure to asbestos occurred as truck drivers and railcar workers unloaded the bags and barrels. Once the shipment was unloaded, the truck driver or railcar worker swept out the truck or railcar. Both processes emitted a tremendous amount of asbestos dust into the air the workers inhaled.
Bags and barrels of asbestos-containing plastic molding compound were picked up from manufacturing facilities, such as Durez Plastics in North Tonawanda, New York, and shipped to mold shops, such as Diemolding in Canastota, New York and General Electric in Schenectady, New York. Individuals who worked in the shipping and receiving departments at these mold shops were the first workers to handle the asbestos-containing plastic molding compound when it arrived at the plant. Not only did these workers assist the truck drivers and railcar workers with unloading the shipments, but these men also moved the bags and barrels to storage for future use.
A thin layer of asbestos-containing dust typically coated the outside of the bags and barrels and, when handled, the dust transferred to the workers' clothing and hands. As these workers handled and transported the compound from the loading dock to the storage facility and preform departments, they inhaled asbestos dust. Once the materials were delivered to the appropriate storage facility, workers in shipping and receiving swept up any remaining compound. This created clouds of dust that placed anyone in the vicinity at increased risk for exposure to asbestos. From the truck to the storage units, any worker that handled asbestos-containing molding compound stirred up dust and increased the likelihood of asbestos exposure for workers in the surrounding vicinities, as well.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer or another asbestos-related disease because you worked with or around asbestos-containing plastic molding compound, please contact us today.
* Image above provided by: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-138988 - Cars loaded with crude asbestos, Thetford Mines, Quebec, Canada