Asbestos Exposure in Utica, New York
The completion of the Erie Canal in 1825 gave Utica an economic boost that survived well into the twentieth century. As coal became accessible to industry in Utica, a strong manufacturing base formed. The textile industry was a big employer in Utica.
In the late 19th century, with the decline of the textile industry, the city transformed into a major industrial player in the tool and die industry. The industry thrived into the twentieth century, and along with other manufacturing and industrial industries, gave Utica many decades of economic prosperity.
Companies such as Revere Copper, Rome Cable, Remington, and Union Fork & Hoe were located in the Utica area. One of the largest employers in the area, employing thousands, was Griffiss Air Force Base. The base opened in 1942 and closed in 1995. The property now houses the Griffiss Business and Technology Park and the Rome Research Site of the Air Force Research Laboratory. The Rome Laboratory, located here, is one of the Superlabs run by the Air Force.
Local plants included Burrows Paper Corporation, Revere Copper Products, Rome Cable, Union Fork & Hoe, and Remington Arms Company, LLC. Revere Copper Products, Inc. is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, manufacturing companies in the United States. Employees of the industries and at Griffiss were exposed to asbestos in pumps, valves, boilers, turbines and insulation.
The Dangers of Asbestos
Workers exposed to asbestos may develop serious health problems like lung scarring and the incurable cancer mesothelioma. Malignant mesothelioma of the lungs, heart or abdomen can take decades to manifest after asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested. Workers often have retired by the time they are diagnosed with asbestos disease and don’t always associate their symptoms with asbestos exposure that occured in the distant past.
Approximately 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States each year, while as many as 15,000 Americans die annually from asbestos diseases. In New York, asbestos has caused approximately 4,000 deaths since 1979. Workers at Revere Copper, Beech Nut, Carrier, Crucible Steel, Nestle, and other production facilities in the Utica area were routinely exposed to asbestos. Enlisted personnel at Griffiss Air Force Base were also exposed to asbestos. There is no safe level of asbestos exposure.
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Utica Mesothelioma Treatment Resources
Once mesothelioma is diagnosed, the cancer is difficult to treat, although treatment options including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are available to manage the disease. Early detection of the disease is critical for the most effective treatment.
Finding a physician who specializes in treating mesothelioma patients, and has first-hand experience in treatment and diagnosis, is important for patients to receive the most current, effective treatments. A specialist will typically take a team approach and will include other medical professionals, such as a thoracic surgeon, radiologist, pulmonary specialist and respiratory therapists as needed.