LyondellBasell Tuscola Plant
The LyondellBasell Tuscola Plant is a plant that provides employment to approximately 130 people while residing on a plot of close to 900 acres. The plant first began production in 1953, and since then has continued to make significant contributions to the regional economy for more than half a century.
At the LyondellBasell Tuscola Plant, diethyl ether, ethyl alcohol, and specialty polymers are produced. Ethanol, which is another name for ethyl alcohol, finds use in a number of personal product and health care applications such as liniments and analgesics, mouth washes, and cough suppressants. Diethyl ether is found in a variety of chemical applications such as a reactant in chemical synthesis and a solution for laboratory reagents. Some of the specialty polymers that are produced in the plant include extremely fine powders that may find use as additives when personal care is involved, in addition to lubricants.
The widespread use of asbestos began in the early 20th Century when plants and factories were popping up all over the country. Asbestos was long recognized as a remarkable insulator, preventing fires and protecting factory and plant workers from the dangers of working with equipment that operates at high temperatures .
In many chemical plants like Tuscola, asbestos was used in work benches, tabletops, and other surfaces touched by chemicals and high-temperature products. It was also used to insulate many items that are in chemical plants such as ovens, furnaces, boilers, ceiling tiles, generators, pipes, and more. Chemical plant workers even wore protective clothing made from asbestos to protect themselves from dangerous chemicals and spills.
When asbestos becomes airborne it can easily be inhaled and cause serious health problems including pulmonary and respiratory diseases and the cancer mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that usually has a latency period of 20 to 50 years. Since the cancer is so advanced by the time it is discovered few conventional treatments work making it very hard to cure.