The paper mill workers were put in direct contact with the asbestos fibers, dangerously increasing the risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses. The plants where these people worked used raw asbestos as an important ingredient for their products. One of the steps in the production of paper was the drying of the pulp. The workers had the pulp placed on drying machines that would spread around excess asbestos-containing material.
When the dryer felts needed to be replaced, the new felts were cut by hand and fitted - another process that posed a major threat to the workers’ health.
Not only the people involved in the production were put in danger, but also the workers that had to repair and do maintenance work on the machinery. By cutting, sanding, or removing parts of the machines, asbestos dust was produced and its particles spread around these factories.
Asbestos-related illnesses like mesothelioma or asbestosis were the result of the asbestos exposure these paper mill workers had to go through. The risk of developing these diseases was not limited to the workers but their families could easily inhale the poisonous fibers brought home on clothes and body.
Relevant job titles
paper mill laborer
paper mill worker
mill yard technician
Asbestos secondary exposure?
People exposed through spouse, husband, parent, relative.
Diseases contracted after asbestos exposure in paper mill workers
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Asbestos products handled by paper mill workers
Because paper mill workers handled asbestos directly, people who had a job in this industry before the 1980s are at high risk of developing a serious disease. Asbestos dust would often pollute the air in paper mills, as it was not uncommon for dryer felt equipment and pulp rollers to contain asbestos. When these devices were in use, asbestos fibers were released into the air due to friction. Insulation represented a health danger as well. The maintenance and repair of machinery also entailed a high risk of exposure.
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