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Blue Circle Cement in Ravena, New York

cement plant

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History of Cement Manufacturing in Ravena

There are many Portland Cement plants in the United States, and the Ravena plant was originally Atlantic Cement. It later became known as Blue Circle. Lafarge merged with Blue Circle in 2005.

The Atlantic Cement Company constructed the original cement plant in 1962, and it was the most advanced facility for the production of cement in the world. The plant has 3,209 acres in the Village of Ravena, and it has 1 million ton plus capacity for cement manufacturing each year.

Cement from Ravena was used in construction of the high-rise Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center and at the World Trade Center Memorial Building and site. The Ravena facility is known for production of extremely high-quality cement. It is up for modernization to maintain that high quality using dry-kiln technology. The site has also been the source of serious mercury pollution.

The Cement-Making Process

There are two types of cement: hydraulic and non-hydraulic. These terms refer to the process through which cement hardens when it becomes hydrated. Portland cement, like that made in Ravena, hardens due to a chemical reaction between the cement powder and water. Cement is used to produce mortar in masonry such as brickwork. It is used to produce a stronger material known as concrete, which is a combination of cement with another material to form a stronger substance to be used in construction. Ravena chemists monitor critical chemical reactions to make high-quality cement.

Asbestos and Cement

Asbestos was used in some cement mixtures from the early 1900s. Although asbestos suppliers and manufacturers realized that asbestos fibers were deadly when inhaled, they failed to inform those to whom they sold their product. Asbestos was also used in the laboratories and equipment (like pumps and valves) at cement plants.

Asbestos-Related Lung Diseases

Inhalation of asbestos fibers is associated with various diseases. The most deadly, mesothelioma, is exclusively the result of exposure through ingestion or inhalation of asbestos fibers. It forms on thin layers of tissue that line the chest cavity, lungs, heart, and abdomen.

Mesothelioma has a long latency period and it may take 50 years or more from exposure until malignant tumors develop. Pleural mesothelioma–the most common type of mesothelioma–is a tumor that begins to grow on the outside tissue covering the lungs. As it rapidly increases in size, it encases the lungs and the patient has difficulty breathing. Death often occurs within 6 months of diagnosis because the initial symptoms may be attributed to something else, including smoking or bronchitis.

Other diseases associated with mesothelioma include scarring of the lungs (asbestosis) and lung cancer. Smoking has a synergistic effect with asbestos; the effects of asbestos exposure multiply the risk of lung cancer from smoking.

Families of workers may have also inhaled fibers brought home on workers’ clothing. There have been multiple cases of secondhand asbestos exposure resulting in serious asbestos related disease.

If you or a family member experience breathing problems or other symptoms of mesothelioma and worked at a facility like the Blue Circle Cement Company in Ravena, contact your physician for an appointment with a pulmonologist.

Consult a Mesothelioma Attorney

Speak with an experienced asbestos attorney at Belluck & Fox, LLP, if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer. As mesothelioma attorneys, Belluck & Fox has represented asbestos victims in the Albany, NY area for years and will protect you and your family. We are nationally recognized for our work in litigation of asbestos claims against manufacturers that failed to warn about the dangers of asbestos. Contact Belluck & Fox for a free consultation.


Ravena, NY