C.E. Thurston and Sons (Norfolk)

C.E. Thurston & Sons, Inc. is a firm located in Norfolk, VA and is primarily a contractor for such services as insulation, cold storage, refractory components and specialty coatings. Founded in 1919 by C.E. Thurston, the company grew steadily, incorporating in 1946 and eventually opening branch offices in Richmond and Roanoke. Over the years C.E. Thurston & Sons has diversified its contracting services to include work on marine vessels, infrastructure for commercial buildings and demolition. Their highly trained crews have been sent on special assignments worldwide to perform various installation and repair operations for private businesses as well as the U.S. government. In the 1990’s, the company acquired Mechanical Insulation Services Inc. and Ambrose Insulation Company. C.E. Thurston specializes in the field of insulation applications, such as ammonia systems, boilers, duct systems, firesafing, hot water plumbing, liquid nitrogen systems, and reactors. They provide very extensive contract services for a variety of refractory operations including ceramic installation, heat coatings for boilers and other vessels, installation of incinerators and sulfur furnaces, as well as maintenance and repair of these types of equipment. Another of the specialty services provided by C.E Thurston & Sons, Inc. is the removal of dangerous or hazardous materials and chemicals. The company has a trained set of crews that remove lead paint, toxic chemicals and asbestos from existing structures. In the past, the company actually used these materials for installation, but by the 1980’s the use of asbestos and other hazardous materials was ended due to the medical reports being released and the number of claims filed against companies that previously used asbestos. Asbestos fibers are easily inhaled by an individual, and can remain in the lungs, acting as a carcinogen that may lead to several different forms of cancer. Asbestos was widely used by companies that wanted a cheap, efficient insulator against heat, so it was often applied as a heat wrap or used in construction of heat resistant wallboard or ceiling tiles. C.E. Thurston & Sons employed workers who were exposed to this dangerous substance by using it to line the outer surfaces of pipes, ducts, and the protective walls surrounding boilers or furnaces. It was also part of the material used in heat-protective clothing worn by employees. Although asbestos, which is linked to the development of mesothelioma in people who have inhaled these fibers, is no longer used at C.E. Thurston & Sons, past employees may be subject to its effects years after exposure.