The Dangers of Asbestos in Altoona, PA

As the city of Altoona, Pennsylvania, emerges into the year 2023, it is essential to acknowledge a long-standing threat that continues to cast its shadow upon the community – asbestos. Despite the progress made in asbestos awareness and control, this hazardous substance has left its mark on several factories and poses a significant risk to the residents of Altoona. In this article, we will delve into the factories affected by asbestos and explore the ongoing risk of asbestos exposure in the city.

Asbestos-Infested Factories

Altoona, once an industrial hub known for its manufacturing prowess, housed numerous factories that employed asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in their operations. Some of these factories include:

The Altoona Works: This sprawling facility, formerly operated by the Pennsylvania Railroad, was a prominent source of employment for Altoona’s residents. Tragically, asbestos was widely used throughout the site, especially in the construction of steam locomotives and railroad cars. This placed workers at high risk of exposure to asbestos fibers during maintenance, repairs, and manufacturing processes.

The Logan Valley Mall Complex: A commercial landmark in Altoona, the Logan Valley Mall Complex also has a darker past. During its construction and subsequent renovations, asbestos was utilized in various building materials. Any disturbances to these materials, such as demolition or remodeling, may release dangerous asbestos fibers into the air, endangering workers and shoppers alike.

The Altoona Pipe and Steel Plant: Another major contributor to the local economy, the Altoona Pipe and Steel Plant, used asbestos in its infrastructure, machinery, and insulation materials. Workers involved in the production and maintenance of pipes and steel products faced substantial exposure risks due to the presence of asbestos.

Risk of Asbestos Exposure

Although Altoona’s industrial landscape has changed over time, the risk of asbestos exposure persists, particularly in older buildings and structures. The inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to severe health issues, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Unfortunately, these diseases often take decades to manifest, making it crucial to address the lingering risk promptly.

Asbestos fibers are most likely to become airborne when ACMs are disturbed or deteriorated. Factors such as aging infrastructure, natural disasters, and improper handling during renovations can release these hazardous fibers into the environment. Once airborne, asbestos particles can be inhaled by anyone in close proximity, including workers, residents, and visitors.

Preventing Asbestos Exposure

In light of the ongoing risk, it is essential for Altoona’s community to take proactive measures to prevent asbestos exposure. This includes:

Raising Awareness: Promoting public education campaigns to inform residents about the dangers of asbestos exposure, the locations where it may be found, and proper safety measures when encountering potentially contaminated materials.

Professional Inspections: Encouraging property owners, particularly those with older buildings, to hire certified asbestos inspectors to assess and identify any presence of ACMs. This step can help in developing appropriate abatement strategies to minimize the risk of exposure.

Safe Handling and Removal: When dealing with asbestos-containing materials, it is crucial to follow established guidelines for handling and removal. Engaging licensed and experienced asbestos abatement contractors is imperative to ensure the safe removal and disposal of ACMs, preventing the release of harmful fibers into the air.

Regular Monitoring: Implementing regular monitoring and maintenance programs in public buildings, schools, and workplaces to detect and address any signs of asbestos deterioration or potential hazards promptly.


As Altoona marches forward into the year 2023, the specter of asbestos lingers, reminding the community of the dangers it poses. Acknowledging the factories that have historically utilized asbestos and recognizing the ongoing risk of exposure is crucial in safeguarding the health and well-being of Altoona’s residents. By staying vigilant, raising awareness, and taking proactive measures, Altoona can navigate the challenges posed by asbestos and strive for a safer, healthier future.

Here at the Halpern Law Firm, we are here for victims of mesothelioma. We want to make sure that all victims of mesothelioma get the compensation they deserve. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and are interested in receiving compensation, call 800-505-6000 for a free case evaluation today. We are available 24/7.


Written By Jeff Nelson

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