In 1966, General Electric constructed a plant in Selkirk, New York, in order to manufacture thermoplastic molding compound. The GE Selkirk plant consisted of nearly forty buildings on 700 acres of land, and it employed around 500 people. In 2007, Saudi Basic Industrial Corporation (SABIC) acquired the Selkirk facility, and it was renamed SABIC Innovative Plastics. The molding compound manufactured at the Selkirk plant is utilized in many different applications, including automotive, electronics and plumbing supplies.
Up until the late 1970s, asbestos was incorporated into numerous insulating materials utilized at GE Selkirk. Block insulation, pipe covering, gaskets, packing material and insulating cement contained asbestos. Employees and contractors who worked at GE Selkirk were at risk for asbestos exposure. Exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases.
Asbestos-containing insulating cement, block insulation and pipe covering lined boilers, pipes, pumps and valves associated with the steam system at GE Selkirk. Asbestos insulation also covered equipment utilized during the manufacturing process of plastic. Due to wear and tear, asbestos insulation was removed and reapplied during maintenance procedures so that the equipment within the steam system could operate efficiently. When asbestos-containing insulation was removed and reapplied, asbestos dust and fibers became airborne. Most workers were completely unaware of the dangers of exposure to the asbestos dust and performed their work without masks or protective gear.
Asbestos-containing gaskets ensured a tight seal between pipe flanges, pumps and valves, which were utilized throughout steam and chemical lines. Asbestos-containing packing material was wrapped around pump shafts and valve stems in order to prevent fluid leaks. Gaskets and packing material were often replaced during maintenance on pumps and valves. The replacement process emitted asbestos dust, which workers inhaled.
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 worked at the General Electric Plastics facility in Selkirk, New York, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.