Des Moines is Iowa’s largest city as well as the state capital. The economical history of the city began with coal mining and railroads. As it expanded, more industries made their way to Des Moines, including power and chemical companies, major retail and technological corporations, and wholesale trades. One thing that the majority of these industries had in common was that they all once relied on and used asbestos for insulation, heat resistance, and fire resistance purposes.
Consequently, numerous workers in Des Moines suffered through daily exposure as asbestos, a harmful mineral linked to life-threatening diseases such as asbestosis, malignant mesothelioma, and lung cancer.
If you or a loved one suffer from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be entitled to considerable compensation for pain, suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and more. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in Des Moines, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more.
Asbestos in Des Moines
Over the past 160 years, Des Moines’ development has been marked by change and growth. Its first major industry, coal mining, lasted only until the coal ran out in 1908. The city shifted its focus to heavy manufacturing, but by the middle of the 20th Century factory jobs were in decline. Now, Des Moines has evolved into a diversified economy dominated by white collar jobs.
This transition took place when asbestos was widely used in most industries. Consequently, many job sites and public buildings, including many schools, are known to have caused asbestos exposure issues, including the major power company, IPL.
Iowa Power and Light
Iowa Power & Light, now known as Interstate Power and Light (IPL) operated numerous power plants in the state, including in the Des Moines area. IPL is now a subsidiary of the Alliant Energy Corporation, which provides electricity and natural gas service to 1.4 million customers in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The majority of IPL’s power generation plants are coal or oil-fired, though the company also operates several small facilities that run on alternative fuels or use experimental technology.
Iowa’s older power stations date from the 1950s and 1960s, when they operated under the original Iowa Power & Light. Most of these facilities had asbestos issues; both IPL and Alliant have assumed liability for these problems.
The public wasn’t aware of the health hazards of asbestos before 1980, but the asbestos industry certainly knew its products were dangerous. Executives at companies such as W.R. Grace, Johns-Manville, Raybestos, and other asbestos companies knew as early as 1930 that medical evidence linked asbestos exposure to asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Their conspiracy of silence lasted until 1977. That year, a lawyer working on an asbestos case found a trove of confidential documents outlining a conspiracy to keep information about asbestos’ health risks risks out of the public eye.
IPL’s older power plants were built at a time when electric companies used asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in their construction. ACMs were considered essential to provide a safer working environment for plant workers and to protect the facility from fire, high temperatures, and electrical currents. Since asbestos was also used in machinery which was susceptible to friction, ACMs were used in plant components such as the steam-powered turbines.
Additional Job Sites and Businesses Associated with Asbestos Use in Des Moines
Along with Iowa Power & Light, there have been a multitude of job sites, businesses, and buildings in Des Moines that once relied heavily on asbestos. Many of these buildings, especially schools, are still in use today.
Every school district in Des Moines, however, must adhere to strict asbestos guidelines set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that requires each school to undergo routine asbestos inspections and maintenance. In addition, each school must have an emergency plan set up in the event that asbestos disruption occurs.
The following businesses, job sites, and buildings once used asbestos and/or ACMs in Des Moines:
- East High School
- Herbert Hoover High School
- Abraham Lincoln High School
- North High School
- Theodore Roosevelt High School
- Brody Middle School
- Callanan Middle School
- Goodrell Middle School
- Warren G. Harding Middle School
- Amos Hiatt Middle School
- Hoyt Middle School
- Cattell Elementary School
- Edmunds Elementary School
- Garton Elementary School
- Greenwood Elementary School
- Hanawalt Elementary School
- Howe Elementary School
- Hubbell Elementary School
- King Elementary School
- Madison Elementary School
- McKinley Elementary School
- Oak Park Elementary School
- Park Avenue Elementary School
- Phillips Elementary School
- Pleasant Hill Elementary School
- Samuelson Elementary School
- Smouse Opportunity School
- Stowe Elementary School
- Wright Elementary School
- Mercy Hospital
- Lutheran Hospital
- Iowa Methodist Hospital
- Blank Children’s Hospital
- Des Moines International Airport
- Des Moines Railway Company
Construction and Manufacturing
- Allied Construction Services (Des Moines)
- Armstrong Rubber Manufacturing Company
- Archer Daniels Midland Soybean Processing Plant
- Court Avenue Brewing Company
- Eagle Iron Works
- Globe Machinery & Supply Company
- Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel Company
- John Deere Financial Center
- A.P. Green Refractories Company
- L&L Insulations
- Central Asbestos & Supply
- City Plumbing Supply (now City Supply)
Other Des Moines Businesses
- R.M. Daly & Company
- Linde Gas
- Meredith Corporation
- MidAmerican Energy Company
State Government Buildings
- Iowa State Capitol
- Iowa State Board of Education
Medical Assistance in Des Moines
UnityPoint Health of Des Moines offers cancer treatment for patients with asbestos-related illnesses, including malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis, and asbestos-related lung cancer. Oncologists, thoracic surgeons, and medical researchers have treated thousands of cancer patients from all over the United States.
For Des Moines residents, the convenient location combined with innovative treatment options provides an excellent way to get quality healthcare. UnityPoint also conducts clinical studies in order to develop new treatments to improve patients’ quality of life, and eventually discover a cure for mesothelioma.
UnityPoint Health – Des Moines
1200 Pleasant Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Legal Help in Des Moines and Additional Information
Remember, if you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may qualify for significant compensation. Remember to fill out our from to get your free Financial Compensation Packet, with information on leading asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers in your area. For questions and assistance, feel free to contact us at 800-793-4540.