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Chicago

Illinois

VOGELZANG LAW

Asbestos Mesothelioma Lawyers Serving the Greater Chicago Area

Vogelzang Law has always called Chicago home. The bustling city has a rich history as a leading center of industry. As the largest city in the Midwest with a population of over 2,716,000, Chicago offers a colorful tapestry of culture and technology. Often referred to as Chicagoland, the metropolitan area is home to nearly 10 million people from all walks of life.

From the famed Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition to the construction boom following the Great Chicago Fire, this hub on Lake Michigan has always drawn visitors from all over the world. The city hosts a wide variety of professions in manufacturing, transportation, technology, and more. With such a long tradition of cutting-edge production, Chicago is home to countless hard-working families who keep the city at the forefront of development.

HISTORY OF ASBESTOS IN CHICAGO

Asbestos exposure, the only known cause of mesothelioma, commonly occurs in the workplace. This exposure most frequently affects those who work in construction, insulation, plumbing, pipe fitting, roofing, and more. Chicago is home to many of these jobs as a hub of industry. Because many industrial occupations work with or near asbestos, numerous families throughout Chicagoland continue to face mesothelioma diagnosis and treatment.

1948 – 1990a

From 1948 to 1990, more than 372,500 tons of asbestos-tainted vermiculite were shipped from a Montana mine to approximately 30 locations throughout Illinois. Chicago was one of the main cities with facilities that processed the asbestos-ridden vermiculite. The products were used in power plants, oil refineries, and a naval base.

1974 – 1996b

W.R. Grace & Company had a facility in West Chicago which processed more than 273,000 tons of the asbestos from the Montana mine from 1974 to 1996. After the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry reported that asbestos had been discovered in the soil surrounding the site, the facility became an EPA Superfund Site.

1999 – 2013c

Between 1999 and 2013, Cook County saw 3,144 people lose their lives after battling asbestos-related diseases. That’s an average of 209 deaths per year. While advances in technology are enabling many people to live longer, fuller lives with the disease, there is still no cure.

1 9 4 8 1 9 5 3 1 9 5 8 1 9 6 3 1 9 6 8 1 9 7 3 1 9 7 8 1 9 8 3 1 9 8 8 1 9 9 3 1 9 9 8 2 0 0 3 2 0 0 8 2 0 1 3 2 0 1 8 1 9 4 8 1 9 9 0 a 1 9 7 4 1 9 9 6 b 1 9 9 9 2 0 1 5 d 1 9 9 9 2 0 1 3 c 2 0 1 4 f 2 0 1 3 e

1999 – 2015d

From 1999-2015, 2,003 Illinois residents died from mesothelioma

2013e

In 2013, inspectors found friable asbestos in 184 public elementary, middle, and high schools throughout the city. As a result. teachers, maintenance and custodial staff, support staff, and other workers in Chicago school are at risk for developing mesothelioma. Even more startling, Chicago students may have been exposed.

2014f

In 2014, workers renovating a historic firehouse on the North side of Chicago were exposed to asbestos. Structure Development Midwest LLC did not follow regulations regarding asbestos and the asbestos-tainted materials were not collected in sealed, labeled, and waterproof bags.

Asbestos Building Code

March 31, 1972: Section 11-4-680 of the Chicago Building code bans the spraying of asbestos insulation. In 2009, the code is amended. Section 11-4-2195 now bans the spraying of asbestos insulation.

ASBESTOS EXPOSURE RISK

Chicago’s extensive manufacturing and industrial base place city workers at high risk for exposure to asbestos-containing products. The mesothelioma mortality rate in Chicago is about 9 people per million each year.

When tiny asbestos fibers pull apart, become airborne, or settle on surfaces and are inhaled or ingested, exposure to asbestos can lead to tissue damage, inflammation, and various serious health conditions. These conditions often present symptoms many years after exposure. Anyone in the vicinity of asbestos is at risk.

CHICAGO OCCUPATIONAL RISKS

Some Asbestos-containing Products:

  • Insulation
  • Pipes
  • Floor and ceiling material

Some Occupations At Risk:

  • Boilermakers
  • Pipefitters
  • Mechanics
  • Welders
  • Construction Workers
  • Shipbuilding
  • Building demolition/renovation workers

OTHER CHICAGO ASBESTOS SOURCES

Secondary Exposure: In-Home

  • Family members inhale asbestos fibers and dust from work clothes

Secondary Exposure: Community

  • Schools
  • Homes
  • Office Buildings
  • Near asbestos plants
  • The military
    • Each branch
    • Veterans

WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE BEEN EXPOSED TO ASBESTOS

TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR

BE ALERT TO THE SIGNS
of asbestos-related disease.

REQUEST TESTING
and conduct research of products and facilities.

Respiratory illnesses and cancers are the biggest health risks.

Asbestos-related diseases:

Mesothelioma
Asbestosis
Lung cancer
Gastrointestinal cancer
Colon cancer
Throat cancer
Kidney cancer
Gallbladder cancer
Esophageal cancer

CHICAGO ASBESTOS EXPOSURE RISK

Asbestos products were widely used in a variety of industries, which put employees at risk. In the early 1970s, the U.S. government created agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate toxic substances like asbestos. These regulations aimed to limit exposures across the country. However, these restrictions do not amount to an outright ban on asbestos, and some asbestos-containing products are still in use. Based on the U.S. Geological Survey, 750 metric tons of asbestos were imported in 2018. Chicagoland area residents and workers are, unfortunately, not exempt from workplace and take-home asbestos exposure. While most companies no longer use asbestos in the products they manufacture, residual effects still occur. For more than seven decades, thousands of workers suffered exposure to lethal quantities of airborne asbestos. More than 39,000 American lives are lost to asbestos-related diseases every year.

AUTOMOTIVE

The Chicago automotive industry has a rich history. Despite a boom in the industry, auto manufacturing in Chicago declined in the mid-20th century. By World War I, Detroit dominated the automotive scene, but Chicago remained a hub for producing the steel and auto parts required for building vehicles.

Chicago

Until the early 1980s, significant players in the automotive industry either manufactured their own asbestos-containing vehicle parts or purchased a number of them from a variety of companies. As a result, thousands of workers in numerous occupations were placed at high risk for developing asbestos-related diseases.

Asbestos-containing products:

  • Disc and drum brakes
  • Automatic transmissions
  • Adhesives
  • Engines
  • Gaskets
  • Manual transmissions
  • Appliances and boilers
  • Clutch Linings
  • Brake linings
  • Locomotive brake shoes

Bellwood

Toxic material was an important ingredient in brakes, brake pads, and clutch parts until the 1980s. Workers in plants were exposed to dangerous asbestos dust. Additionally, asbestos-laden parts were sold from plant to plant and, therefore, mechanics working on vehicles with those parts were likely exposed to asbestos.

Those at highest risk include:

  • Vehicle mechanics
  • Auto parts installers
  • Factory workers
  • Warehouse workers
  • Brake assemblers
  • Clutch assemblers

STEEL

Steel mills are a historic establishment in Chicago industry. Since the late 1800s, the city ranked as one of the top steel producers in the country, thanks in part to nearby iron ore deposits in Minnesota and Michigan. Booming railroad, shipping, and construction industries in the city created an illustrious market for steel products. Chicago steel production helped build skyscrapers, railroads, and bridges. Goods like pipe, wire, and containers also surged in popularity. In the 20th Century, several smaller steel and iron companies merged, creating larger corporations throughout the city. Because steel production uses extremely high-temperature furnaces, asbestos became a popular material due to its resistance to heat and fire.

South Chicago

Steel mills throughout the country used asbestos for insulation for pipes, various building materials, and protective garments for workers. It also wasn’t uncommon for asbestos to be used as an insulator in factories due to its strong fire resistance. Steel mill workers in South Chicago may have been exposed to asbestos through protective coats, leggings, gloves, aprons, coveralls, and other asbestos garments. Toxic building materials such as refractory bricks, floor and ceiling tiles, and insulated pipes may also have exposed workers to asbestos. Since asbestos fibers can also attach themselves to clothing and shoes, family members may have been exposed when workers unknowingly carried asbestos home.

INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL COMPONENTS

Chicago has long been a central hub of industry across the country. With so many manufacturing, shipping, and construction sites, asbestos-containing products became very common throughout the city. Chicago’s impressive economic and industrial expansion spans centuries and makes the city a product manufacturing hub for both industrial and commercial components. Unfortunately, many of these components contained asbestos, which was popular for its heat and fire resistance as well as its strength and flexibility.

Morton Grove

Manufacturers out of this area manufactured numerous industrial and commercial asbestos-containing components. Asbestos was an important material in sealing and packing. A few products that contained asbestos include asbestos rope used for packing and sealing, ring packing, gaskets, seals, and hydraulic packing. While any plant workers could have been exposed, those who directly handled asbestos-laden products experienced the highest risk. Additionally, those who used the components in their jobs likely experienced exposure as well.

ASBESTOS JOB SITES IN COOK COUNTY

Allied Metal Company
Armour Manufacturing Plant
AT&T Hawthorne Works Plant
B&O Railroad
Biron Construction
Borg Warner
Calumet Shipyard
Campbell’s Soup Plant
Carnegie Steel
Carriage House Motel
Chicago Chemical Plant
Chicago Coit Carpet & Drapery
Chicago Nuclear Powerhouse
Coke Plant
ComED Dresden Nuclear Power Plant
Commonwealth Edison
Container Paper Mill
Continental Can Plant
Crawford Station Power Plant
Cyclone Pipe
Durable Rubber
E J Brach & Sons
General Electric Appliance Plant
General Motors Plant
General Motors (GM)
Great Lakes Naval Training Center
Hawthorne Works Plant
IBM Building
Inland Steel Mill
International Truck & Engine Corp.
John Crane Company
Mobil Oil Refinery
Montgomery Ward Building
Proctor & Gamble Plant
Pure Oil Refinery
Republic Steel
Republic Steel Mill
Reynolds Metals Plant
RG Construction Services
Sears, Roebuck Tower
Skil Tool
Standard Oil Refinery
Thomas A. Edison Nuclear Power Plant
United States Steel
US Reduction Aluminum Smelter
Valley Mold and IronWard Bakery
Wisconsin Steel Works

RESOURCES

Vogelzang Law is proud to connect clients with medical resources in their area. Mesothelioma is rare and aggressive. These Chicago medical professionals and cancer centers have extensive experience with the disease and can offer support to you and your loved ones.

When facing a mesothelioma diagnosis, community support can be an invaluable resource to both patients and families. Through support groups, classes, and educational initiatives, these organizations help put families at ease. Attend events spanning the city of Chicago and nearby suburbs.

Our team works hard to provide every family with the support they need to ease the litigation process. Throughout your time with Vogelzang Law, we are eager to answer questions and offer guidance.

 

MEDICAL

DOCTORS & CANCER CENTERS NEAR CHICAGO

Rush University Cancer Center
Rush Professional Office Building
Suite 774
Chicago, IL 60612

Dr. Robert Jay Liptay
Rush University Cancer Center
Rush Professional Office Building
Chicago, IL 60612

Dr. Philip D. Bonomi
Rush University Cancer Center
Section of Medical Oncology
Chicago, IL 60612

University of Chicago
Comprehensive Cancer Center
5841 S. Maryland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

Dr.Hedy Lee Kindler
The University of Chicago Medicine
Center for Advanced Medicine
Chicago, IL 60637


University of Illinois
Medical Center at Chicago
Mesothelioma Treatment Section
1740 West Taylor St.
Chicago, IL 60612


Robert H. Lurie
Comprehensive Cancer Center
Galter Pavilion
Chicago, IL 60611

RESEARCH & RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

L-NDDP (Platar) is most effective when administered intrapleurally. A trial produced remission in two patients. Dr. Roman Perez-Solar reports, “The current Phase II study has enrolled 20 patients; 61% have had documented pathologic complete remission on the second thoracoscopy". The treatment shows particular promise in those with minimal progression.

Lovastatin is actually a cholesterol drug that shows promise in reducing mesothelioma cell growth.

Photodynamic therapy uses specific wavelengths of light to kill cancer cells. This method has shown success in significantly extending the survival of stage 3 patients to up to 7.3 years after diagnosis when used in combination with surgery and chemotherapy.

Vitrakvi has recently been approved by the FDA as a treatment of many types of cancer, including malignant mesothelioma. Manufactured by Bayer, the first-of-its-kind cancer drug is a genetics-based treatment that targets the genetic biomarker in a patient’s cancer. During clinical trials, three out of four patients diagnosed with a TRK fusion cancer like mesothelioma responded positively. The drug enabled 73 percent of those with positive responses to maintain success for at least six months. Additionally, 22 percent of the trial's patients had a complete response, stopping their cancer’s advancement entirely.

The development of cancer vaccines, commonly referred to as immunotherapy, is a treatment option for mesothelioma patients in Chicago. A study of CRS-207 is underway for patients who have received chemotherapy with Alimta and Cisplatin. This study is evaluating the potential of CRS-207 to elicit an immune response, which could help kill mesothelioma cells.

Researchers at the University of Chicago are currently studying the effectiveness of the drug Tivantinib on patients with mesothelioma. Tivantinib may block certain cancer enzymes necessary for tumor growth.

 

 

COMMUNITY

“We are committed to building connections that support the mesothelioma community. Together, we can create a better future.”

SUPPORT SERVICES FOR MESOTHELIOMA PATIENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES

Counseling & Support Groups

Mesothelioma Applied Research
Foundation (MARF)
1615 L Street NW, Suite 430
Washington, DC 20036
877-363-6376
https://www.curemeso.org/


Gilda’s Club Chicago
(Chicago)
312-464-9900

Lodging

IMD Guest House
(Chicago)
312-996-1167

Union Affiliations

  • Local 17 Heat and Frost Insulators
  • International Association of Sheet Metal Workers
  • International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers
  • Boilermakers Local One
  • United Auto Workers (UAW)
  • Utility Workers Union of America
  • Local 11 Union of Roofers, Waterproofers & Allied Workers
  • Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen
  • International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO
  • United Mine Workers of America, AFL-CIO
  • International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing
  • Iron Workers Union
  • Pipefitter Local 597
  • The Chicago and Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Sprinkler Fitters Local 281
  • Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters
  • Cement Masons Local 502
  • Electrical Workers Local 134
  • Operating Engineers Local 150
  • Glaziers Local 27
  • Laborers District Council
  • Machinists Local 126
  • Painters District Council #14
  • Plumbers Local 130

Why Choose Us

Chicago has always been our home base, and it is important to us that we serve Chicago families with integrity. At Vogelzang Law, you are our priority. We work closely with each family our team represents, forming connections that last a lifetime. Offering more than just legal support, our team prioritizes your comfort and peace of mind to ensure a smooth process.

 

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