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Asbestos Use in Rochester, NY

Rochester Office

Belluck & Fox LLP
160 Linden Oaks Drive
Rochester, NY 14625
Phone:(585) 285-4070

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Asbestos Exposure in Rochester

Rochester, located on the Genesee River and the southern shore of Lake Ontario, is the county seat for Monroe County, New York. Rochester was one of the biggest boom towns in New York. Spurred on by the creation and expansion of manufacturing plants, the town has grown into one of the state’s largest cities with a population of over 210,000.

Today, Rochester is known for its vast parks, including Highland, Cobb’s Hill, Durand Eastman, Genesee Valley and Ontario Beach, and for its recreation opportunities. It also has outstanding museums, hospitals, universities and music festivals.

Rochester became an industrial powerhouse during the 20th century, first on the strength of its many flour mills and later with a number of well-known consumer product firms, including Kodak, Xerox, and Bausch and Lomb. Fueled by its excellent schools and universities, Rochester continues to be at the center of innovation, particularly in the medical and technological sectors

Many of our nation’s largest industrial companies were located in Rochester, including Eastman Kodak, Xerox and Bausch and Lomb. Other companies included Gleason Works, and Rochester Gas & Electric which had power plants throughout the Rochester area. The Kodak facility, known as Kodak Park, was one of the largest industrial sites in the world and operated its own power plant.

These facilities used asbestos in equipment such as pumps, valves, boilers and turbines, on pipes and in building materials.

The Dangers of Asbestos

New York ranks third in the U.S. – behind California and Florida – with the most deaths from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Nearly 4,000 New Yorkers have died from the diseases since 1979.

Often called “asbestos cancer,” mesothelioma is highly aggressive and is resistant to many cancer treatments. Most cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed 10 years or more after exposure, with the latency period sometimes being as long as 60 years. Currently, there is no known cure for mesothelioma, and the average survival time is 12 – 18 months after diagnosis. About 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States each year.

Many Rochester workers were exposed to deadly asbestos fibers in the work environment due to inadequate warnings from asbestos manufacturers and suppliers of asbestos-containing products. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports there is no safe level of asbestos exposure leaving many of the workers with a lifelong risk of developing mesothelioma.

In addition to Rochester industrial workers, local plumbers and electricians and other tradesmen who used asbestos products on the job were also at risk.