Founded in Binghamton, New York, in 1901, Ansco was a manufacturer of photographic products and film. Ansco was originally founded through the merger of E. Anthony & Company and Scovill Manufacturing. In 1928, Ansco merged with Agfa to form Agfa-Ansco. The new corporation was a division of General Aniline and Film (GAF) Corporation, which was controlled by the German chemical cartel IG Farben. After Germany declared war on the United States in 1941, the United States Government seized the assets of GAF, including Agfa-Ansco. In 1943, the company removed “Agfa” from its name, once again becoming Ansco. The United States Justice Department oversaw Ansco’s operation until 1965, when government-held stock in GAF was sold to the public. In 1977, GAF eliminated its line of consumer photography products, including those manufactured by Ansco at the Binghamton facility. GAF also sold the Ansco trademark to Haking Enterprises. GAF continued to manufacture film at the Binghamton plant for industrial and medical use until 1981, when it sold the plant to Anitec Image Corporation. Over the next two decades, the former Ansco facility was sold several times, and in 2000, it was demolished.
Prior to the late 1970s, dozens of asbestos-containing materials were utilized in the construction and maintenance of buildings at Ansco’s Binghamton facility, including fireproof insulation, pipe covering and insulating cement. Inhaling dust from the application and removal of asbestos-containing materials placed workers at risk for developing an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Fireproof insulation was applied to structural steel during the construction of buildings at Ansco. Fireproofing materials were manufactured as a dry mixture of asbestos, linen and cement, packaged in fifty-pound paper bags. The dry mixture was mixed with water and sprayed onto the structural steel using a hose. Pouring, mixing and spraying fireproof insulation created clouds of asbestos-containing dust. After the fireproofing material was applied, it was typical for tradesmen, such as electricians or pipefitters, to scrape the fireproofing material from structural steel in order to install pipes and conduits. When the fireproof insulation was disturbed, asbestos fibers and dust became airborne.
Workers applied asbestos-containing pipe covering to pipes at the Binghamton Ansco facility. Pipe covering was applied to numerous piping systems in order to maintain stable internal temperatures and to protect pipes from damage. When pipe covering was applied, asbestos fibers were emitted. Insulating cement was also applied to pumps, valves and other equipment. It was manufactured as a powder and mixed with water to prepare it for application. Mixing insulating cement caused asbestos-containing dust to become airborne.
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 once worked at Ansco in Binghamton, New York, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.