Asbestos Use in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, for many years, asbestos was a very popular material and was used in a variety of industries. Based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pennsylvania has the second highest deathrate from mesothelioma in the United States. Most of these deaths occur or occurred in areas in or surrounding Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and there are at least 41 asbestos mines or deposits in PA.

Asbestos was used in the locomotive industries in PA, particularly in Erie. General Electric Transportation Systems and Pennsylvania Railroad used asbestos in the machines used to create the locomotives and in the locomotives themselves, exposing the people who worked on them to asbestos. Pittsburgh specifically, known as the Steel city, is home to a lot of steel mills. The making of steel involves a lot of flames and heat, so asbestos was used as an insulator to protect workers, but in the end ended up harming them. Shipbuilding was another industry that utilized asbestos, since Philadelphia has access to the Atlantic Ocean through the Delaware River. Because of this access, shipbuilding companies were created, including the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Hog Island Shipyard and William Cramp and Sons. The Cramp Shipbuilding company exposed workers to asbestos as it was in the air they were breathing, and they wore no protective gear.

The Philadelphia Naval Shipyard was established centuries ago and did not end its operations until the 1990s. Asbestos-containing materials were on turbines, pumps, valves and boilers. At one point, the shipyard employed over 40,000 people. Those at the shipyard who were most at risk of inhaling asbestos were welders, plumbers, electricians, pipefitters, pipe coverers and insulators and boilermakers. Many ships were built and repaired at the Navy Shipyard and these ships had asbestos containing materials, exposing thousands of people to the hazardous material.

The BoRit asbestos site, located in Ambler, PA, was actually used to dispose of asbestos-containing material from a manufacturing plant. The waste-pile is about 25-feet high and is about two-and-a-half acres. The site includes three sections: a waste pile, a park and a reservoir. The park was formerly filled with asbestos containing material before it was turned into a park and was actually closed in the 1980s due to exposing people to asbestos. The EPA has completed some clean-up efforts by capping all of the asbestos-containing materials throughout the site. Currently, the site is being monitored by the EPA.

In Allentown, PA, some asbestos worksites include but are definitely not limited to, Allentown Hospital, Allentown High School, Mack Truck, First National Bank and Allentown Portland Cement Company. In Allegheny, PA, some sites where workers were exposed to asbestos include Allegheny City Electric, Pennsylvania Railroad, American Locomotive Company, Carnegie Steel Company, P. Mcgraw and Wool Company, Western State Penitentiary and many more. Some asbestos sites in Johnstown, PA include Franklin Works, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Garfield Junior High School, Johnson Company and Citizens Light Heat and Power Company. These are just a few of many.

Here at the Halpern Law Firm, we have offices in the places previously mentioned and we are here to help victims of mesothelioma. If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, call The Halpern Law Firm today for a free case evaluation. We are available 24/7.


Written By Sadie Gold

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