E.W. Brown Generating Station

E.W. Brown Generating Station, built in 1971, is located in Harrodsburg, Kentucky on Curdsville Road and is owned by Kentucky Utilities Company. In the year 2000, E.W. Brown Generating Station and all other Kentucky Utilities power stations have met the requirements for Clean Air Act. However, Kentucky Utilities has not maintained such healthy indoor and outdoor air quality standards.

In 2007, the Kentucky Utilities Company underwent investigation by the Environmental Protection agency. The investigation occurred because of reported complaints that the E.W. Brown Generating Station had not been utilizing proper pollution control mechanisms. Later, in 2010, Abt Associates, an independent group, conducted a statistical survey of those afflicted by fine particle pollution. They found that 68 deaths and many other toxin related illnesses occurred and were common among E.W. Brown Generating Station workers.

Asbestos was often used in power plants such as E.W. Brown Generating Station, as well as in homes, schools, and military vessels as construction material. Asbestos was also used in protective clothing and in other high heat capacities because of its natural resistance to fire and heat. However, when asbestos is heated, sanded, cut, or otherwise handled, fine, invisible fibers are released into the air. These fibers are often inhaled or ingested and tend to settle in hair and on clothes and shoes. Because of poor ventilation and over exposure to substances like asbestos in power plants like E.W. Brown Generating Station, many workers and their families were exposed to asbestos fibers.

Once inhaled or ingested, these fibers can lodge in the mesothelium, the lining of the lungs, or in the lining of the abdomen or the heart. Over time, this fibrous buildup results in the scarring of tissues and this in turn can result in a deadly cancer called mesothelioma. Workers who were forced to inhale or ingest asbestos fibers were not aware that they were at risk for mesothelioma, largely because the symptoms of this cancer have a tendency to lie dormant for several years, often from 20- 50 years, after the workers were exposed. Unfortunately many power plant employees, most likely including workers of the E.W. Brown Generating Station, do not realize the dangers of handling and inhaling asbestos until it is too late.