Mobil and Asbestos
The Mobil Oil Corporation, now known as ExxonMobil and headquartered in Irving, Texas, was founded as part of the breakup of the Standard Oil Company. Due to the nature of its industry, the company made extensive use of products that contained asbestos. As a result, many former employees have developed health issues arising out of their exposure to asbestos fibers.
History of the Company
Mobil Oil began as a result of the order for Standard Oil to break apart into smaller companies after the U.S. Supreme Court found that the company violated federal antitrust laws. In 1931, two of the companies that were spawned out of the breakup, Vacuum Oil and Standard Oil of NY (Socony), merged into Socony Vacuum and sold a product called Mobilgas. In 1955, the company changed its name to Socony Mobil Oil, before becoming Mobil Oil in 1966.
Mobil merged with the Exxon Corporation in 1999, becoming ExxonMobil. Today, it is the largest publicly traded international oil and gas company in the world. ExxonMobil operates 38 oil refineries in 21 countries, capable of a combined daily refining capacity of 6.3 million barrels. The company produces and sells crude oil, petroleum products, and natural gas.
Importantly, the company has never filed for bankruptcy, which means it has not been required to set up an asbestos trust fund in order to assist victims of exposure to asbestos.
Mobil and Asbestos
In order to produce oil and manage oil refineries, a significant amount of heavy-duty industrial equipment must be used. This equipment is used in the drilling and harvesting of products like oil. Historically, this equipment, which produces a great deal of heat, often contained asbestos. This was because asbestos, which is non-flammable and heat resistant, was widely considered to be the best insulation material for any equipment or vessel that contained anything that was flammable, such as oil and gas.
Some of the different products that the company made or used that contained asbestos include, but are not limited to:
- Heat exchangers;
- Boilers; and
- Protective clothing worn by its refinery workers.
The asbestos placed certain employees at a significant risk of exposure while they worked for the company, including insulators, metal workers, engineers, electricians, and chemical workers.
Dangers of Exposure
When asbestos is disturbed, it can release microscopic fibers into the air. After prolonged, sustained exposure to these fibers, individuals may be at risk for the development of serious diseases, such as mesothelioma and other cancers. While the use of asbestos was widely discontinued in the 1980s, the effects of exposure in some cases may not develop for decades. Unfortunately, when issues arise, they are usually highly dangerous.
For more information about how to seek damages for the harm you have suffered as a result of exposure to asbestos, contact an experienced attorney today. At the Throneberry Law Group, we travel to victims of asbestos exposure to provide them with help. We look forward to hearing from you to discuss your situation.