Learn About Asbestos Exposure in New York
In cities and towns throughout New York state, workers have been exposed to asbestos at manufacturing facilities, power plants, construction sites, and shipyards. At Belluck & Fox, our dedicated New York asbestos attorneys have researched which companies were responsible for asbestos exposure in these communities, and we are committed to holding these companies accountable.
To learn more about asbestos exposure and mesothelioma resources near you, visit our individual city pages below. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos disease, schedule a free consultation now to learn how our firm can help.
As the capital of New York, Albany enjoys a rich history and is one of the oldest surviving settlements of the original 13 colonies. With its ideal location and access by water and rail, Albany has been home to many industries over the years. Many residents worked in factories such as the paper mills in Glen Falls and General Electric in Schenectady. Others made a living working at power plants, industrial sites, and construction sites. Albany residents may have faced exposure to asbestos both on the job and secondhand through family members who worked with the dangerous material.
Along with Johnson City and Endicott, Binghamton completes the Triple Cities area on the south-central border of New York. Since the 19th century and the expansion of the railroad system, the city has served as a transportation and manufacturing center. It hosted furniture companies, wagon businesses, and cigar factories. Many Binghamton residents also worked at the Endicott-Johnson Shoe Corporation and nearby IBM. In addition, many aviation and defense companies were based in Binghamton. Local factory workers, transportation workers, and construction workers all may have been exposed to asbestos-containing materials.
The second-most populous city in New York, Buffalo grew in the 19th century into an industrial hub on the western end of the Erie Canal. The city served as a center for steel manufacturing, grain milling, and other industrial endeavors. Many area residents made a living working for companies such as Bethlehem Steel, Caborundum Company, Chevrolet, Ford Motor Company, and Durez Corp. Through the 1980s, plants and factories in the area used asbestos-containing materials, as well as raw asbestos, in some cases.
A city that grew into its own as a transportation hub for the southern tier of New York, Elmira is home to large manufacturers such as Corning Glass, Dresser-Rand, and Kennedy Valve Company. Many residents built their lives here while working at these manufacturing plants and in the transportation/railroad industry. Asbestos exposure in these industries was common, and decades later, workers are suffering the consequences.
As the center of commerce for St. Lawrence County, Massena enjoys its location along the St. Lawrence River and acting as the gateway to America’s Fourth Coast. Massena’s industrial roots began in 1902 when Alcoa opened an industrial plant here, now the longest continually operating aluminum facility in the world. Many Massena residents were also employed at the General Motors engine casting plant in town and Reynolds Metal plant. Asbestos products were commonly used at industrial facilities, putting workers at risk of inhaling or ingesting the deadly material.
New York City, NY
A construction and transportation hub for more than two centuries, New York City has been a constant draw for workers in all types of fields. Shipyard workers, factory workers, power plant workers, construction workers, laborers, and tradesmen all played their part in building the Big Apple. Throughout the city’s construction boom, asbestos was used in many building materials, industrial products, and household products, thus putting many New Yorkers at risk.
Niagara Falls, NY
Best known for its spectacular waterfalls, Niagara Falls is a major tourist attraction and a top producer of hydroelectric power for the region. The power of the falls also drew chemical and industrial plants to the area, such as DuPont, Olin, Mathiesen, and Hooker Chemical Co. (and its parent corporation, Occidental Petroleum Corporation). Workers at these Niagara Falls’ industrial facilities frequently handled or worked in the vicinity of asbestos products.
Plattsburgh is a town of great history, with several museums highlighting the area’s proud past. As the longtime home of the Plattsburgh Air Force Base before its closure in 1995, the city hosted many service members and civilian employees. The area also housed manufacturing companies such as Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Plattsburgh Light and Power Company, and Vanity Fair Paper Mills. Service members, civilians, and manufacturing plant workers in Plattsburgh all were at risk of being exposed to asbestos.
Known as the “Queen City of the Hudson River,” Poughkeepsie was built on industries such as shipping, hatteries (or hat-making), paper mills, and breweries. Shipping and other manufacturing industries played a big role in the city’s economy into the 20th century. And Poughkeepsie is now home to multiple large IBM factories and buildings. Asbestos was a standard building material in Poughkeepsie manufacturing plants, and it was also used in lab equipment, bench tops, and safety clothing at local factories and shops.
Although it’s now known for its parks, cultural scene, and technology sector, Rochester was originally one of the biggest industrial boom towns in the state. As an industrial and manufacturing powerhouse, the city drew many big employers such as Kodak, Xerox, and Bausch and Lomb. Employees at these industrial facilities frequently worked with or around asbestos products.
Schenectady is perhaps best known as the city where Thomas Edison moved Edison Machine Works (later becoming General Electric). GE and the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) turned Schenectady into a manufacturing center and major economic force. During the city’s manufacturing heyday and beyond, workers faced asbestos exposure at a variety of job sites.
As the fifth-largest city in the state, Syracuse is known as the economic and educational hub of Central New York. The city began as an industrial hub in the late 1800s, and the area was home to many manufacturing plants processing iron and steel, electrical components, firearms, chemicals, textiles, paper, and other goods. Many Syracuse area companies were household names, such as Bristol-Myers, Chrysler, Crucible Steel, and Carrier. And many of these facilities frequently used asbestos products.
Utica’s long history as a manufacturing and industrial town began with the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825. Since then, the town has been buoyed by the textile industry, the tool and die industry, and other manufacturing operations. Local plants included Burrows Paper Corporation, Revere Copper Products, Rome Cable, Union Fork & Hoe, and Remington Arms Company. Workers in any of these industries faced asbestos exposure.
Watertown is a city built on the development of waterpower. With the Black River as its source, waterpower helped the city become one of the top paper manufacturing communities in the U.S. in the 19th century. It is also home to Fort Drum. Paper mills, manufacturing plants, and other industries drove the local economy into the 20th century, providing economic prosperity but also serious risk of asbestos exposure for Watertown residents.
Although the mention of Woodstock for outsiders brings to mind the famous 1969 music festival, residents of this small town in southern New York have long enjoyed its artistic and cultural roots. Just as in other small towns and big cities across the United States, the people of Woodstock may have been exposed to asbestos through industrial and household products that contained the material. In 1985, the town experienced a crisis when asbestos was found to have contaminated the water supply due to the use of asbestos cement pipes.