LyondellBasell Jackson Plant

The LyondellBasell Jackson Plant is a chemical compound facility located in Jackson, Tennessee. Originally built in the 1970s as a manufacturing site, it was converted a decade later into a plant that produces polypropylene (PP) plastic, and also combines PP with other resins to form specialty plastic products. LyondellBasell is the result of a merger of two separate companies in 2007, forming what is now today one of the world’s largest producers of petroleum-based resins and polymers. Headquartered in the Netherlands, LyondellBasell employees more than 14,000 workers around the globe.

At the Jackson Plant, about 90 employees work a total of five production lines that prepare petroleum-based resins, heat them to the appropriate temperature and mold the plastic. For the most part the facility follows a compounding procedure that mixes PP with other resins to form specialty polymers. Recently the company has installed two additional production lines for use in the area of research and development of new types of compound plastics containing polypropylene.

At a chemical production facility such as the Jackson Plant, workers are subject to injury from hot resins, toxic vapors and sharp objects. An enormous amount of electricity is often used in the plastic compounding industry as well. In the early days at chemical plants, asbestos was often used as an insulating material and for fireproofing buildings.

Asbestos is a natural substance that is a form of silicate; it is a weave of tiny fibers that can break loose and become airborne. Because chemical plants often used this material in walls, ceilings and in boiler rooms, workers could easily inhale the fibers or get them stuck in hair or clothing. Long-term exposure to asbestos is now known to cause mesothelioma, asbestosis and other illnesses. One of the dangers of Mesothelioma is the dormancy period; asbestos fibers can remain in a person’s lungs for 20 to 50 years before symptoms of disease begin to show.