Asbestos Inspector Describes the Asbestos-Containing Fireproofing in the Dulski Federal Building

Constructed in 1971, the Thaddeus J. Dulski Federal Office Building (The Dulski Building) was once the epicenter of the federal government’s presence in Western New York. Up until 2006, tenants of the Dulski Building included the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Commerce, The U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and several other administrative agencies. After a $60 million dollar renovation and abatement project, the building was renamed The Avant Building, and it functions as an upscale multifunction facility.

In recent years, those who assisted in the construction of the Dulski Federal Building have developed and died of mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases. Asbestos-containing fireproofing, floor tiles, ceiling panels, and insulation were used on a massive scale to construct the facility. Workers who handled materials that contained asbestos or worked in the vicinity of others who did are at high risk for developing an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma.

Laborers who assisted in the construction of The Thaddeus J. Dulski Federal Office Building (The Dulski Building) located on Huron Street in Buffalo, New York, were at high risk for exposure to asbestos. In 2009, after the completion of a $60 million dollar renovation project, The Dulski Building opened its doors as an upscale multi-use facility that includes a hotel, restaurant, private offices and residential units. Prior to federal regulations placed on asbestos in the late 1970s, asbestos was incorporated into various building materials, including ceiling and floor tiles, pipe covering, fireproofing material and other building materials located throughout the 380,000 square foot Dulski building.

Asbestos-containing fireproofing materials covered nearly every structural beam in the Dulski Building. Fireproof insulation is a mix of asbestos, cement and waste materials from linen mills. This material came packaged in bags, which was then dumped into a machine where it was mixed with water and then sprayed onto the Dulski Building’s steel substructure. Prior to asbestos abatement, the Dulski Building contained roughly 253,500 square feet of asbestos-containing fireproofing. Fire proofers who applied asbestos-containing fireproofing materials are at high risk for developing asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma.

During the application process of fireproofing, large clouds of dust and fibers were emitted into the air where the material was being applied. Even long after this material was applied, the smallest of vibrations had the potential to dislodge fibers into the air. In addition to fire proofers, iron workers, plumbers and electricians who worked with rebar and conduits on or in the vicinity of fireproofing material, were also put at risk for exposure to asbestos fibers and dust.

Asbestos-containing pipe and tank insulation, transite ceiling panels, window glazing, baseboard mastic and floor tiles were also used in the construction process of the Dulski Building. Inhaling dust and particles from the application and maintenance of asbestos-containing materials placed workers at risk of developing serious health problems. Even those not who were not in direct contact with asbestos materials remain at risk for the development of asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma or lung cancer.

In the process of representing workers and their families, we have gathered a vast amount of information the type and variety of asbestos-containing products to which our clients were exposed. 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 as an iron worker, fire proofer, electrician, plumber or insulator during the construction of the Dulski Federal Building, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.