Frank A. Tracy Generating Station

The Frank A. Tracy Generating Station is locate just east of Reno, Nevada, and was operational in 1961. It can generate 1,041 megawatts and uses natural gas to power its 12 generating units. The Frank A. Tracy Generating Station has two 7FA General Electric units that put out 578 megawatts total, one combined cycle unit that has a capacity for 108 megawatts, three steam boilers that put out about 244 megawatts total, and four peaking units that provide 72 megawatts each. The plant employs 65 workers and services 625,000 homes.

Unfortunately, many power plant workers may be at risk for a cancerous condition called mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that affects the lining of the lungs. Cancerous cells may also reach and affect the lining of the heart and of the stomach. Mesothelioma is a serious disease and those diagnosed with it generally are expected to live for no more than a few months or years.

Mesothelioma is nearly always caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. Many factory, shipyard, construction, and power plant workers have been exposed to asbestos without realizing it. In past years, asbestos, a natural mineral, was used in construction and as protective gear because it was fire proof and could withstand high temperatures for long periods of time. However, when employees inhaled or ingested asbestos through the tiny, fine fibers that it releases, the fibers lodged in the lining of internal organs like the lungs. This was especially common of boiler rooms and other rooms that used asbestos were not adequately ventilated.

Employees exposed to asbestos at work were likely to put family members and friends at risk for secondhand asbestos exposure as well. Because of the shape of asbestos fibers, they are able to cling to hair and apparel. Power plant workers often left the station with these fibers and brought them home. Even though clothes and hair are washed the fibers may still persist. Over time, even spouses and children inhaled the particles, increasing their chance of developing mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma symptoms resemble flu symptoms. A cough, a light or heavy wheeze, and shortness of breath may signify the existence of mesothelioma. Many victims are unaware that they have mesothelioma, even after visits to the doctor. This is because doctors and patients are not always aware that the patients have been exposed to asbestos. If the cancer is diagnosed, victims undergo cancer treatments like radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery for the removal of malignant tumors.