El Paso Times – Ex-Asarco employees seek reason for illnesses

Patrick Garza worked as a pipefitter and welder at Asarco in the 1990s. As he describes his years there, he gestures with his left hand to make a point. It trembles, so he steadies it with his other hand.

Doctors diagnosed Garza, 48, with multiple sclerosis in 1997. A few weeks ago, he learned that hazardous waste was illegally incinerated at Asarco. He wonders if that exposure caused his illness.

Records of the chemicals processed at the plant have been incomplete and in most cases unavailable, said Verónica Carbajal, an attorney working with Garza and about 15 other former Asarco employees who have health problems.

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