The Four Corners Power Plant is located on the Navajo Indian Reservation near the borders of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah in the town of Fruitland, New Mexico. Units 1, 2, and 3 coal boilers were constructed beginning in 1963 with other units beginning operation in 1969. In the 1960s, asbestos was an integral component of large, field-erected boilers and in other construction materials. Asbestos impacted not only workers constructing power plants like Four Corners, but also employees, contractors, and visitors. Potentially, families of workers could also be exposed to asbestos hazards by inhaling fibers brought home on the clothing of plant workers.
Asbestos diseases are often fatal, especially mesothelioma. Other diseases include lung cancer and asbestosis. After an individual is exposed to asbestos, it can take 20 to 40 years or more for symptoms to develop.
If you worked at a power plant prior to the mid 1980s – and believe you were exposed to asbestos – it’s good to check with your doctor and let them know of your exposure so they can regularly track your health. Early detection of asbestos-related disease is important for treatment.