Normally we save this blog for talking about mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases, and how they affect families all across the nation. But today we’re turning our attention to a different subject. Yesterday at a chemical plant in East St. Louis, Illinois, just over the Mississippi River, at least eight people were exposed to a toxic chemical at the Ro-Corp plant. Today they are in hospitals in Missouri.

Work safety is a serious issue. This is an issue we know all-too-well from our many years helping asbestos victims at Simmons Hanly Conroy. And when it comes to working with potentially hazardous materials like nitroaniline (this is the chemical officials suspect workers were exposed to), precautions must be taken. According to officials, workers were exposed when the chemical was released after a barrel was dropped at the Ro-Corp plant in East St. Louis. The lid flipped off the container and a white powder leaked out and coated the victims.

According to the Belleville News Democrat, one person was listed in serious condition in the intensive care unit, three in stable condition, and three others are in good condition. Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Mo. is not releasing any information about one victim who was sent there at the request of the patient.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the individuals and families affected by this unfortunate event.