Alfred University was founded in 1836 as the Alfred Select School. Alfred has practiced a non-discriminatory admissions policy since it was established, and it is the second oldest co-educational institution in the country. With around 2000 students attending, Alfred is a small university. It offers bachelor’s and graduate degrees in a variety of subject areas. The Alfred University campus has undergone several expansions and renovations. Prior to the late 1970’s, asbestos was incorporated into materials utilized in the construction and maintenance of Alfred University buildings, including pipe covering, block insulation, insulating cement and fireproofing. Workers who handled materials that contained asbestos, or worked in the vicinity of those who did, are at risk for developing an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Asbestos-containing pipe covering was applied to water and steam pipes throughout the Alfred University campus, and asbestos block insulation covered the boilers. Handling, cutting or disturbing asbestos insulation emitted asbestos fibers into the air. Pipe elbows and valves were coated with asbestos insulating cement. Insulating cement was manufactured as a dry powder, and it was mixed with water to form a paste. Pouring and mixing the cement caused asbestos-containing dust to become airborne.
The fireproof insulation applied at Alfred University was a mix of asbestos, cement and waste materials from linen mills. This material was manufactured as a dry, fluffy substance, which was packaged in heavy paper bags. The dry fireproofing mix was poured into a machine, mixed with water and sprayed onto structural steel surfaces with a hose. Mixing and applying fireproofing materials produced clouds of asbestos dust and fibers. In order to gain access to the structural steel for other structural applications, electricians, pipefitters, carpenters, sheet metal workers and other tradesmen routinely scraped away fireproof insulation after it was applied. When workers disturbed the insulation, asbestos fibers became airborne.
Many union and non-union laborers who worked on construction projects at Alfred University were employed by various contractors throughout Western New York. If you or a loved one were once employed as a laborer at Alfred University and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.