Collier Carbon and Chemical Corporation, Kenai, Alaska
The Collier Carbon and Chemical Corporation in Kenai, Alaska is a chemical plant with a dubious history. It was started in an area of Alaska that is rich with liquefied natural gas on Kenai Peninsula next to Cook Inlet. The Collier plant was originally owned by Unocal, one of the largest American oil and gas exploration and production companies. However, allegations questioning the safety of Unocal lead to its failure and a takeover by Chevron.
Explosions at the Collier Plant
The Collier Carbon and Chemical plant used chemicals to produce ammonia and fertilizer. In 1999, there was an explosion at the plant, which released about 30,000 gallons of methyldiethanolamine. Additionally, a containment tank rupture allowed an estimated 500 pounds of ammonia gas to escape into the air.
The Release of Asbestos
In many chemical plants, especially older ones such as the Collier plant, engineers and construction crews used asbestos-laden materials as insulation. Asbestos resists heat, flame, electricity, and chemicals, making it a seemingly perfect material for chemical plant construction. However, we now know that asbestos causes serious health disorders, such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.
When chemical plants explode, they may be releasing more than just dangerous chemicals. Ruptures like this can also rip into asbestos-containing insulation, concrete, and piping, allowing microscopic asbestos fibers to billow into the air. Wind and the regular patterns of air movement can carry the dangerous asbestos fibers into communities near the chemical plant.
For More Information
If you have lived or worked near the Collier Carbon and Chemical Corporation, or another chemical plant, you should talk to your doctor immediately about early cancer-detection tests. Early detection can give you a better chance of fighting asbestos-related conditions like mesothelioma. For more information regarding the risks of asbestos exposure, please contact the mesothelioma lawyers of Williams Kherkher by calling 800-781-3955 and fill out the contact information located at the top of the page.