The residents of Port Neches, Texas are confronting the frightening possibility of malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases following the recent explosions and fire at the TPC Group chemical plant. Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick, head of local emergency response efforts, announced that the fire and explosion that occurred on Wednesday, November 27t spread asbestos throughout the area. Though community members were allowed back to their homes on Friday, the lifting of the evacuation order came with instructions to report any white powder that they see.
Though he did not specifically reference malignant mesothelioma, the statement made by Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick sent a clear message to the approximately 50,000 people living within a four-mile radius of the plant. “This facility was begun during the ’40s and there was some asbestos, either some blanket pipe coverings or block that was installed,” Branick said at a press conference. “One of the vessels that was compromised and had an explosion could have sent that asbestos in the neighborhoods and yards of Port Neches, or even Nederland and Port Arthur.”
The cause of the industrial accident is not yet known, and though there were immediate concerns about the potential health effects from exposure to chemical smoke emanating from the site, the additional concern about asbestos exposure and the risk of malignant mesothelioma is making the situation even more alarming. Asbestos is a known carcinogen and is the cause of the rare and fatal form of cancer known as malignant mesothelioma. The asbestos is thought to have spread following the second of two explosions that rocked the area after a fire broke out at the TPC Group chemical plant.
A spokesperson for the company, Director of Health Safety and Security Troy Monk, has indicated that returning residents should call the company’s hotline if they see the white chalky residue anywhere near their homes, on their cars or anywhere else.
Exposure to asbestos changes lives forever. If you or someone you love has been affected by mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease and you need help or legal guidance, contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.