In 1963, Georgia-Pacific acquired the former Vanity Fair Paper Mill on Margaret Street in Plattsburgh, New York. The mill was originally purposed as a factory for the Lozier Motor Company in the early 1900s. The Plattsburgh, New York mill consists of numerous buildings, including a steam plant, pump house, filter plant and paper mill. Georgia-Pacific’s Plattsburgh facility continues to manufacture consumer paper products, including Angel Soft toilet paper and Sparkle towels and napkins.
Prior to the mid to late 1970s, the boilers and associated steam and water pipes at Georgia-Pacific’s Plattsburgh plant were covered with asbestos-containing block insulation, pipe covering and insulating cement. Asbestos-containing gaskets and packing material were also utilized within pumps and flanges that were associated with steam and chemical systems. Inhaling dust and particles from the application and removal of asbestos-containing materials placed workers at risk for developing asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Asbestos-containing pipe covering, insulating cement and block insulation lined pipes, pumps, valves and boilers associated with the steam and water systems at Georgia-Pacific’s Plattsburgh plant. Steam was used to run turbines and to run equipment in the paper mill. In order to do so, boilers required consistent pressure to deliver the steam to each piece of equipment it powered. Due to wear and tear, asbestos insulation materials were commonly removed and reapplied so that the equipment associated with the steam system could maintain a constant internal temperature. 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 flanges, pumps and valves, which were also utilized throughout steam, water 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.
In the process of representing workers and their families, we have gathered a vast amount of information concerning 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 at a Georgia-Pacific facility and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.