An electrical worker cuts a damaged overhead power line during emergency repairs in Wheaton

Many people who worked in power houses (also called power stations or power plants) were exposed to asbestos.  Asbestos was widely used in the buildings that housed the equipment, the actual machinery – generators, boilers, steam pipes and turbines that generated electricity, and the electrical wiring.  Asbestos containing products were used liberally in these plants because of the enormous amounts of heat generated from the burning of coal and natural gas.  Asbestos insulation was sprayed over much of the pipes and equipment.  For all of these reasons, power house operators, distributors, dispatchers, engineers, maintenance staff and other workers were often exposed to asbestos especially if they worked in power plants before the 1980’s.