Houston’s Historic Maxwell House Coffee Plant & Asbestos

by Terry Bryant

In April 2018, Atlantis Coffee Solutions, owner of Houston’s classic Maxwell House Coffee Plant, announced it was going out of business and would be shuttering the establishment this summer. Layoffs of the plant’s 279 workers began in June.

The one-million-square-foot facility had a longstanding history in Houston, opening in 1946 and stretching across 18 acres in the city’s East End. In 1988, the building stretched to new heights with the addition of a 16-story tower and the brand’s neon-lit logo. The Maxwell House Coffee Plant was among the world’s largest coffee manufacturing plants.

Asbestos Exposure at the Maxwell House Coffee Plant

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the United States government took steps to reduce the amount of asbestos used. However, many older buildings, such as the Maxwell House Coffee Plant, potentially exposed workers and their families to the carcinogenic substance.

Asbestos is a set of naturally occurring minerals that can be separated into durable threads and used in both commercial and industrial applications. The asbestos fibers are heat, fire, and chemical resistant and do not conduct electricity, which led to its use in construction. Asbestos was used to build the Maxwell House Coffee Plant, but was removed by 1991. The removal process took about 4 to 5 years to complete.

There has been a link between asbestos exposure and illnesses such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Those who worked at the Maxwell House Coffee Plant in Houston anywhere from 10 to 40 years ago could now exhibit symptoms of mesothelioma, years later. In some cases, even family members could become sick – as a result of asbestos making its way home (e.g., on a worker’s clothing).

Terry Bryant Helps Asbestos-Related Illness Victims

Oftentimes, the effects of asbestos exposure can take years to manifest. Early symptoms can range from shortness of breath, dry cough, and chest tightness or pain, to the development of more serious diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestos, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, and more.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related illness, you need to act quickly. Similarly, if your doctors are concerned about your health given your work history and are considering sending you for a biopsy, now is the time to consider legal help. The team of attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law can help. Contact us by calling toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000.

Sources:

https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/asbestos/asbestos-fact-sheet

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/1991-0040-2510.pdf

https://www.chron.com/business/bizfeed/article/Former-Maxwell-House-plant-to-close-12848286.php

https://houstonhistorymagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/maxwell-house-without-image.pdf

https://www.terrybryant.com/blogs/houstons-maxwell-house-building-asbestos