The Bath Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center was founded in 1879 as the New York State Soldiers and Sailors Home. It was established to care for Union veterans of the Civil War. In 1929, the United States government took control of the facility, and in 1930, the medical center was incorporated into the newly formed Veterans Administration. The Bath VA Medical Center is located on Veterans Avenue in Bath, New York, and it consists of over thirty buildings on 215 acres. It is a 440-bed hospital that offers inpatient and outpatient care to United States military veterans.
Asbestos-containing block insulation, pipe covering, insulating cement, packing material and gaskets were used in maintenance and repair procedures at the Bath VA Medical Center. Workers who handled asbestos-containing materials are at risk for developing mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Steam was used to heat the buildings at the Bath VA Medical Center. Boilers, pipes, valves and pumps within the steam system were covered in asbestos-containing insulation. During maintenance or repair procedures, workers removed asbestos insulation in order to access equipment within the system. New insulation was applied after maintenance or repairs took place. Applying and removing asbestos-containing insulation caused asbestos dust and fibers to become airborne, which workers inhaled.
Asbestos-containing gaskets were used in pipe systems at the Bath VA Medical Center to ensure a proper seal between pipe flanges, valves or pumps. Gaskets were fabricated from sheets of asbestos-containing gasket material. Cutting gasket materials emitted asbestos dust into the air. When a gasket was replaced, it was scraped off its flange. Removing gaskets also released asbestos dust and fibers, which workers inhaled.
Workers utilized asbestos-containing packing material to prevent leaks from pump shafts and valve stems. Packing material was commonly removed from pump and valve glands using a tool called a packing puller. Workers cut and manipulated new packing material to fit the diameter of the stem or shaft. Removing and installing packing material emitted asbestos dust and fibers into the air.
Many union and non-union laborers who worked on construction projects for the Bath VA Medical Center were employed by various contractors throughout the Finger Lakes Region. If you or a loved one were once employed in connection with maintenance or renovation of the Bath VA Medical Center and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you contact us regarding your legal rights.