Workers in many industries across Pennsylvania must contend with the risks of asbestos exposure. A draft report released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency draws attention to the exposure risks within the chlor-alkali industry, which produces chlorine. Facilities that make chlorine often use chrysotile asbestos diaphragms in the manufacturing process.

The American Chemistry Council has questioned the concerns of the EPA about the chlorine industry. The council maintained that manufacturers follow an adequate safety process based on training, wearing personal protective equipment and engineering controls. The chemical industry group argued that the EPA overestimated the risk of asbestos exposure for workers.

According to the EPA, asbestos poses a high risk to human health when people are exposed to the substance. Asbestos is known to cause cancer. In addition to being present in some equipment used in the chlor-alkali industry, the EPA warned that asbestos components in oil field brake blocks and vehicle brakes could threaten people’s health as well.

Manufacturers and other employers have a financial interest in downplaying the health risks of asbestos because of their potential liability. For this reason, an individual who believes that asbestos exposure resulted in cancer, especially mesothelioma, might have trouble holding a responsible party accountable. An attorney who understands the legal standards that must be met to prove liability in asbestos cases may evaluate the strength of a person’s claim. An attorney might aid with the collection of evidence by seeking records about chemical handling procedures and connecting the client with a physician experienced with asbestos-related disease. After gathering evidence, an attorney may prepare a lawsuit that details the damages suffered.