The industrial economy in Chicago exploded during the early 1900s, with jobs in printing, manufacturing, oil, shipbuilding, food processing, and publishing. The population continued to grow, making the city one of the nation’s largest.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named Chicago a “high-risk area” for asbestos exposure. Many workers and residents in the city were exposed to the harmful mineral for decades.
If you or someone you love suffers from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may qualify for substantial compensation. Fill out our form to get a free Financial Compensation Packet. You’ll learn about the top mesothelioma lawyers in Chicago, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file a claim for the asbestos trust funds, and more.
Chicago Asbestos Facts
- There were 9,720 asbestos-related deaths in Illinois between 1999 and 2013.
- The county with the highest number of asbestos deaths was Cook County, which includes Chicago.
- Several industries important to the economy in Chicago put workers and residents at risk of asbestos exposure for decades.
- The W.R. Grace vermiculite plant in Chicago received hundreds of thousands of tons of asbestos-tainted minerals from the infamous Libby, Montana mines.
Allied Metal Company
Hundreds of businesses and work sites in the city put employees at risk of exposure. Allied Metal Company was one of the worst offenders, using more asbestos than many other companies in Chicago.
Founded in 1953 during peak asbestos use, the aluminum company used asbestos to smolder their products. Asbestos was also used as a spray-on all of the company’s products and everywhere inside the facilities, including pipes, walls, floors, and ceilings.
The use of asbestos at Allied Metal continued for another 30 years until the late 1970s. Unfortunately, thousands of workers had already been exposed to harmful asbestos fibers. Many have now been diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses.
Dresden Power Plant
The Dresden Power Plant is another example of a company that exposed workers to asbestos. It was built while asbestos was still heavily used in the power generation industry. Two Dresden units with asbestos still stand today.
Asbestos materials were used virtually everywhere in Dresden Power Plant, including doors, pipes, ceilings, floors, work surfaces, and turbines. When used in turbine machinery, millions of asbestos fibers would be pushed into the air and into areas where many plant employees were working. The workers then inhaled these fibers on a daily basis.
W. R. Grace Exfoliation Plant
W. R. Grace, a company that mined and processed a mineral known as vermiculite, operated an exfoliation plant in Chicago. Between 1974 and 1988 the company received 273,600 tons of asbestos-contaminated vermiculite from the company’s Libby, Montana mine.
The process of exfoliation is particularly likely to cause asbestos fibers to become airborne. This contaminates the surrounding air and soil, exposing workers and nearby residents. As late as 2001, asbestos turned up in testing samples at the site, even though the plant shut down in 1996.
Other Job Sites Associated with Asbestos in Chicago
There have been many workplaces that used asbestos in Chicago for decades, putting people at risk of exposure and getting sick.
- Acme Steel Company
- American Steel and Wire Company
- American Steel Foundries, Inc.
- Central States Steel Boiler Company
- Central Steel and Wire Company
- Chicago Steel & Wire Company
- Chicago Steel Service
- Columbia Tool Steel
- General Steel and Wire Company
- Inland Steel Powerhouse
- Interlake Steel Corporation
- Kensington Steel Company
- La Salle Steel
- Ltv Steel Mill
- Modern Steel & Treat Company
- Pollock Steel Company
- Pressed Steel Car Company
- Republic Iron and Steel Company
- Scully Steel and Iron Company
- U. S. Steel South Works Plant
- Wisc Steel Div of I H Company
- Abbott Elementary School
- Albert Einstein Elementary School
- Ashland High School
- B. Shoesmith Elementary School
- Banneker Elementary School
- Bass Elementary School
- Board of Education South Side Vocational School
- Bond Elementary School
- Burke School
- Carl Schurz High School
- Chicago Public School District
- Delano Elementary School
- Deneen Elementary School
- Dumas Elementary School
- DuSable High School
- Dvorak School
- Faraday Elementary School
- Farragut High School
- Fulton Elementary School
- Garfield Junior High School
- Garrett Morgan Elementary School
- Garvy Elementary School
- Gillespie Elementary School
- Gresham Elementary School
- Guggenheim Elementary School
- Hale Elementary School
- Harrison Technical School
- Harvard Elementary School
- Hefferan Elementary School
- Hibbard School
- Hinton Elementary School
- Hyde Park High School
- Jacob Beidler School
- Jane Neal Elementary School
- Joliet Public Schools
- Kenwood High School
- Kershaw Marshall Elementary School
- McCosh Elementary School
- McDade Classical Elementary School
- Melody Elementary School
- Mollison Elementary School
- New Chicago Trade School
- Northwestern High School
- Price Elementary School
- Reavis Elementary School
- Reed Elementary School
- Ryerson School of Engineering
- Sauganash School
- Senn High school
- Sheridan Phil Grammar School
- Simpson School
- South Shore North High School
- St. Ignatius High School
- St. Mills High School
- Stagg Elementary School
- Stephen Gale School
- Stockton Elementary School
- Swift Elementary School
- Thorp Elementary School
- Wadsworth Elementary School
- Washburne Trade School
- Weber High School
- Wells School (Ashland & Augusta)
- Wicker Park Elementary School
- Yale Elementary School
- Adamson Manufacturing Company
- Agar Manufacturing Corp
- Anderson Tool & Manufacturing
- Barrett Manufacturing Company
- Blackstone Manufacturing Company
- Bonell Manufacturing
- Central Manufacturing District
- Chicago Rawhide Manufacturing Company
- Corn Products Manufacturing Company
- E. J. Davis Manufacturing Company
- Fairbanks Morse Manufacturing Company
- Friedman Manufacturing Company
- Goodman Manufacturing Company
- Grabler Manufacturing Company
- Illinois Vinegar Manufacturing Company
- J.W. Sefton Manufacturing Company
- Joslyn Manufacturing & Supply Company
- M C Bullock Manufacturing Company
- Magic Glove Manufacturing Company, Inc.
- Michael Printing Press Manufacturing Company
- Miehle Printing Press Manufacturing Company
- Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company
- Multi-Electronic Manufacturing
- Pheoll Manufacturing Company
- Plano Manufacturing Company
- Procter & Gamble Manufacturing Company
- Rheem Manufacturing. Company
- Ruud Manufacturing Company
- Sandberg Manufacturing
- Scholl Manufacturing Company
- Shall Manufacturing Company
- Shotwell Manufacturing Company
- Simonds Manufacturing Company
- Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company
- Turner Manufacturing. Company
- Vaughan & Bushnell Manufacturing Company
- Victor Manufacturing & Gasket Company
- Wilson Athletic Goods Manufacturing Company
- Winnebago Furniture Manufacturing Company
- Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company
- Yonk Manufacturing Company
Getting Medical Help in Chicago
The University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCCCC) is an NCI-designated care center with researchers, physicians, cancer experts, and healthcare specialists that focus on mesothelioma cancer and other asbestos-related diseases. The study and research of malignant mesothelioma have been a part of the center for over 20 years.
Getting Legal Help in Chicago
If you’ve been injured by asbestos, there is a good chance that you’ll qualify for considerable compensation. Get our free Financial Compensation Packet for information on the top mesothelioma and asbestos lawyers in your area. For questions and assistance, feel free to contact us at 800-793-4540.
Page Reviewed and Edited by Illinois Mesothelioma Lawyer Jill M. Price
Jill M. Price is a partner with the Flint Law Firm, LLC in Chicago, Illinois. She worked as a teacher before turning to law and specializing in advocating for asbestos victims. At Flint she heads up discovery and asbestos trusts and has been responsible for recovering several millions of dollars in damages for clients with mesothelioma and other asbestos illnesses.