Durez Plastics Corporation in North Tonawanda, New York, will always be remembered by the community surrounding it for its role in exposing workers, and their families alike, to asbestos dust. Despite the tragedy surrounding the plant and many deaths among its workers caused by asbestos exposure, Durez was once an important employer and vital part of North Tonawanda.
The number of retired and former Durez workers diagnosed with mesothelioma continues to grow at an alarming rate. Durez was a chemical and plastics factory that manufactured plastic molding compound, which it then sold to other manufacturing facilities. These facilities used the plastic molding compound supplied by Durez to make a wide variety of products that included hard plastic handles for irons and other small appliances and a variety of automotive parts. Durez molding compounds contained raw asbestos, which was incorporated as a filler in order to add strength and durability to its compounds. The North Tonawanda Durez plant was also heavily insulated with asbestos insulation in order to contain heat from steam pipes, chemical lines, boilers, kettles and reactors.
Given the massive quantities of asbestos used at Durez every year until 1978 and the poor exposure controls in place during the majority of that time, it is unlikely that the pace of new asbestos disease cases will slow down soon. Quite often, the period between first exposure to asbestos and the symptoms of mesothelioma is longer than forty years. Men and women who first worked at Durez in the 1970s will continue to be at risk until 2016 and beyond.
Mesothelioma is often referred to as a signature disease of asbestos exposure. This is because there is no other recognized cause of mesothelioma among asbestos-exposed workers and members of their families exposed to contaminated work clothing. Occupational exposure to asbestos also causes a non-malignant condition known as asbestosis which, in severe cases, causes pulmonary disability and death.
The attorneys at Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC have gathered a vast amount of information concerning the type and variety of asbestos-containing products used at Durez Plastics. We have represented many former and retired Durez workers in their legal claims for mesothelioma. Our clients understand the importance of securing legal representation as soon as possible after a diagnosis of mesothelioma or lung cancer. If you or a loved one were once employed at Durez Plastics and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.