Workers at the Reynolds Aluminum plant were at daily risk of exposure to asbestos and other toxic substances like cyanide. This was especially true before the 1970s, when the dangers became better understood and workers began to wear adequate protection and receive warnings.
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What’s the problem?
Reynolds Metals Company (RMC) was the second largest aluminum company in the United States, and the third largest in the world. The company became well-known for the consumer product Reynolds Wrap as well as being a leader in developing and promoting new uses for aluminum; its RV Aluminaut submarine was operated byReynolds Marine Services. Headquartered for most of its existence in Richmond, Virginia, it was acquired by Alcoa in June 2000. It was acquired by Graeme Hart, New Zealand businessman in 2008 – named Reynolds Packaging Group, now a private company again.
Aluminum smelters, like the Reynolds Plant and many others that were located throughout the Pacific Northwest, made wide use of asbestos, recognized for decades for its ability to insulate and resist fire. Asbestos was used in the carbon bake furnaces, on the potlines, and in the casthouse as well.
Employees who worked with extremely hot materials had to be protected from life-threatening accidents. They wore asbestos gloves and aprons while pouring liquid aluminum alloys that measured up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit in order to keep their hands from blistering and to avoid injury from spills. Others wore asbestos coats, and asbestos masks were used as well, meaning that workers wore the hazardous material on their faces, making it especially easy to inhale dangerous fibers.
Over the years, many Reynolds Aluminum Plant employees have been screened for asbestos-related illness and the numbers affected have been alarmingly high, according to several reports. Many of the sickened had toiled at the plant for decades, unaware that they were exposed to such a high level of dangerous asbestos fibers for such a long time.
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The Toxic Tort Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus exclusively on the representation of plaintiffs in asbestos-related mesothelioma lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.