Michigan Mesothelioma Resources and Asbestos Information

With the Ford Motor plant and other automobile manufacturers located within the state’s borders, Michigan has rightfully been called the heart of the American auto industry.  Unfortunately, due to the heavy use of asbestos in car parts such as gaskets and brake linings, Michigan has also suffered from the public health crisis of asbestos-related disease. Other industries, such as refineries and foundries, have been identified as places where employees are or have been exposed to asbestos.  Food, beer, and pharmaceutical manufacturing plants are other locations that posed a risk. Asbestos is not directly involved in the manufacture of these items, but the buildings in which they are made are older and asbestos was used in their construction, as was previously common. Power plant workers have also showed pulmonary abnormalities as a result of asbestos exposure.  In a recent study conducted in Puerto Rico, researchers took chest x-rays of people who worked in power plants and found thirteen percent of them were developing problems. Michigan has at least 12 power plants, both coal and oil fired, as well as nuclear plants. It is now well-known that shipyards and marine repair facilities are also a significant risk to workers employed in these occupations before 1980. This is another common industry in the state of Michigan, given its location surrounded by the Great Lakes. Since asbestos is highly resistant to corrosion and Michigan is home to many chemical plants, the deadly mineral was often used in labs.  Much of the asbestos used for this purpose is crocidolite, or “blue asbestos.”  Tiny, needle-like fibers of the substance are known to burrow into lung tissue once inhaled. These fibers cause interaction with DNA cells and cause the cells to turn malignant through mutation. Medical researchers have only recently begun to understand this process.