Founded in 1892 as the Ithaca Conservatory of Music, Ithaca College is a liberal arts college offering degrees in over 100 areas of study. The college was originally located in the historic Boardman House. Steady growth in enrollment following World War Two compelled Ithaca College to expand, and a new campus was constructed on South Hill in the early 1960s. The college enrolls nearly 6,400 students every year. Situated on 650 acres, the Ithaca College campus consists of over ninety buildings, including lecture halls, dormitories, laboratories, administrative offices and athletic facilities. Prior to federal regulations placed on asbestos in the late 1970s, asbestos was incorporated into dozens of materials utilized in the construction and maintenance of buildings at Ithaca College, including fireproofing, pipe covering, and insulating cement. Workers who handled asbestos-containing materials, or worked in the vicinity of those who did, are at risk for developing mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Fireproof insulation was applied to the structural steel during the construction of buildings throughout the Ithaca College campus. The insulation was manufactured as a dry mixture, and it was packaged in large paper bags. The dry mixture was poured into a machine, mixed with water and sprayed onto the structural steel. The process of mixing and spraying fireproof insulation created clouds of asbestos fibers and dust. After fireproofing was applied, it was disturbed by tradesmen, such as plumbers or electricians, who needed to access equipment housed within the structural steel. When the fireproof insulation was disturbed, asbestos fibers became airborne.
Steam used for heating the buildings at Ithaca College was delivered through a system of pipes. These pipes were insulated with asbestos-containing pipe covering, and equipment associated with the steam system, such as valves and pumps, were covered in insulating cement. Asbestos was used as a component in pipe covering and insulating cement because of its inherent strength and ability to withstand high temperatures. During maintenance or repair of the steam system, workers removed the pipe covering and insulating cement in order to access necessary equipment. When the insulation and cement was removed and reapplied, asbestos dust and fibers were emitted.
Many union and non-union laborers who worked on construction projects at Ithaca College were employed by various contractors throughout Western New York. If you or a loved one were once employed as a laborer at the Ithaca College and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.