Lexington is Kentucky’s second largest city, located at the heart of the state’s Bluegrass region. Nicknamed “Horse Capital of the World” due to the presence of large tracts of horse ranches, rich pastures, and its historic connection to Thoroughbred racing. Since Lexington is not sited near any navigable rivers, its economic history is not dominated by the development of heavy industries.
Nevertheless, Lexington managed to create a welcoming environment to several industries, including tobacco manufacturing and distribution, construction, and modern health care enterprises. For much of the 19th and 20th Centuries, these industries had a tragic connection with America’s asbestos problem. An array of job sites and buildings in Lexington have been known to have had asbestos exposure issues, putting people at higher risks of developing such diseases as malignant mesothelioma and asbestosis.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Fill out our form to get a free Financial Compensation Packet. You’ll learn about the top mesothelioma lawyers in Lexington, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file a claim for the asbestos trust funds, and more.
Lexington’s Links to Asbestos
Lexington is a city rich in culture and history. It was founded in 1775 when what is now Kentucky was part of western Virginia and named for the Massachusetts town where the Revolutionary War stated. Less than half a century later, Lexington was one of the wealthiest communities west of the Allegheny Mountains. Its cultural scene was so refined that Lexington was nicknamed “the Athens of the West.” Lexington was instrumental in America’s westward expansion; the city saw the foundation of the first university and the first newspaper established west of the Appalachians.
Sited far from the major riverways that were the arteries of commerce in the United States, Lexington still managed to become one of Kentucky’s most successful communities. The city was not a smokestack-filled factory town like Pittsburgh, but its hemp manufacturing industry was a cornerstone of the state’s economy.
Much of the rope used in the U.S. at one time was made from hemp in Lexington’s rope factories. Lexington also helped the development of nearby smaller communities by acting as a hub of banking and commerce.
Asbestos was introduced in Lexington during the Industrial Revolution when railroads started connecting the various geographical regions of the country. Asbestos’ excellent fireproofing and insulation properties have been known for thousands of years, but it was first used in massive scale in the mid-19th Century.
Asbestos and a wide selection of derivative products, including insulation and flame retardant cloth, were found wherever steam engines and heavy machinery were used. By 1870, as electricity was being introduced into American communities, asbestos was used in the construction and operation of power plants in Lexington.
Asbestos use boomed in the 20th Century, particularly in the decades before and after World War II. The construction industry used large quantities of building materials made from asbestos. Called asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), these include:
- Roofing and siding shingles
- Textured paint
- Vinyl floor tiles
- Hot water and steam pipes
- Insulation, particularly around oil- and coal-fired furnaces
- Stove-top pads, especially those made before 1979
During the asbestos industry’s heyday, all of the federal government’s departments used asbestos for its alleged safety-enhancing properties. This included the various branches of the armed forces, and since World War II coincided with the peak use of ACMs, millions of men and women who served the nation suffered asbestos exposure in military installations across the nation.
This included the Army Air Force’s Lexington/Bluegrass air base, where thousands of airmen received flight training. Parts of the old base still exist on the grounds of the present-day Blue Grass Airport.
In the 1950s, Lexington hosted several manufacturing companies, adding a more significant industrial element to the local economy. Dixie Cup, Square D, and IBM set up operations there in the first half of the decade. Lexmark, a printer manufacturer founded in 1991 when IBM spun off some of its product divisions, has its headquarters in Lexington.
Jobs Sites Associated with Asbestos Use in Lexington
Lexington’s economy may not have been dominated by heavy manufacturing due to its geographic location and its emphasis on culture and horses. Nevertheless, there is a substantial number of job sites in and around Lexington where asbestos exposure occurred.
Hospitals and Schools
- Chandler Medical Center
- Eastern State Hospital
- Good Samaritan Hospital
- Henry Clay High School
- Narcotics Addiction Hospital
- St. Joseph Hospital
- University of Kentucky
- Lexington VA Medical Center
Water, Utilities, and Power Plants/Companies
- American Waterworks Company
- Burnside Power Plant (also known as East Kentucky Power Cooperative)
- Lexington Utilities
Additional Job Sites and Businesses
- America’s Suppliers Inc.
- Blue Grass Insulation
- Cranfill Frey Company
- General Electric Company (GE)
- Lexington Greyhound Bus Terminal
- I.C.I. America
- Blue Grass Airport
- Lexington Blue Grass Army Depot
- Lexington Brewing Company
- Lexington Hydraulic and Manufacturing Company
- Lexington Sewage Treatment Plant
- New Phoenix Company Inc.
- NIMH Clinical Research Center
- Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation
- Procter & Gamble
- Schenley Distillers Corporation
- W.T. Young Storage Company
Medical Assistance Near Lexington
The University of Louisville Health Sciences Center offers comprehensive cancer treatment at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center (JGBCC), located nearly 70 miles from Lexington. At JGBCC, the primary mission is to discover more knowledge about cancer through translational research, while providing cancer patients with professional yet compassionate care. JGBCC’s research focuses on discovering and developing new medications to treat different types of cancer, including malignant mesothelioma.
James Graham Brown Cancer Center
529 S. Jackson Street
Louisville, KY 40292
Phone: 502-562-4673 (HOPE)
Legal Help in Lexington and Additional Information
As previously mentioned, if you’ve been exposed to asbestos and suffer from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Don’t forget to fill out our form to get our free Financial Compensation Packet, filled with information on the leading asbestos and mesothelioma attorneys in your area. For questions and assistance, feel free to contact us at 800-793-4540.