Asbestos Use Near Watertown

Watertown is the county seat for Jefferson County, New York. The city, with close to 30,000 residents, is located approximately 70 miles north of Syracuse on the Black River, and just 30 miles from Ontario, Canada.

Watertown is a charming city, with many historical 19th century homes and buildings. The Downtown District offers a 21-stop walking tour showcasing the best of the grand and ornate architecture. The city is home to unique boutiques, shops, and restaurants.

The development of waterpower in Watertown in the nineteenth century started the wheels of progress for the community. With the Black River providing power, the city became one of the nation’s principal paper manufacturing communities. Paper mills and associated industries and manufacturing plants dominated the local economy well into the twentieth century, providing the city with decades of economic prosperity.

Watertown’s rise to a manufacturing center was driven by the Black River’s power to generate electricity for running the local industries. The railroad, which came to Watertown in 1851, helped to promote industry in the town. Water power and rail provided the city with a strong base of manufacturing from which the city thrived economically well into the twentieth century.

Knowlton Specialty Paper Products began operations in 1808. Today Knowlton’s Specialty Paper Products is the oldest continuously running paper mill in America, boasting over 200 years of business.

mesotheliomaOver the years, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the company used vermiculite, which can be contaminated with asbestos. Paper mills in Watertown, Carthage and Newton Falls also used asbestos. The EPA states that there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos, and even infrequent exposure poses a risk. Asbestos is a known carcinogen and is associated with mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.

Nearby Fort Drum Army Base is another major economic force in the Watertown area, employing thousands of people. It is also one of the largest Army bases in the United States.

Talc mining in Gouvernor, NY is another nearby industry. Talc c