The Kendall Refining Company was established in 1881 in Bradford, Pennsylvania, by Eli Loomis, William Willis and Robert Childs. Bradford was selected as a site for a refinery because it’s close to the large and highly productive oil fields of Northwestern Pennsylvania and in the Southern Tier of New York State. The Bradford oil field was one of the most productive oil fields in the world for decades after Kendall was founded. The Kendall refinery was acquired by Witco Corporation in 1966, and in 1997, it was acquired by the American Refining Group. Located on North Kendall Avenue in Bradford, the refinery consists of five processing units, hundreds of storage tanks and dozens of buildings. The former Kendall refinery currently employs around 250 people, and it has a production capacity of 11,000 barrels of oil per day.
Prior to federal regulations placed on asbestos in the early 1970s, asbestos was incorporated into insulating materials at the Kendall refinery, such as block insulation, pipe covering, gaskets, insulating cement and packing material. Workers who utilized asbestos-containing materials, or worked in the vicinity of those who did, are at risk for developing mesothelioma, lung cancer or other asbestos-related diseases.
Miles of pipeline throughout the refinery was insulated with asbestos-containing pipe covering. Pumps, valves and other associated equipment were covered with asbestos insulating cement. Workers removed and reapplied these asbestos-containing materials during maintenance procedures. Handling, removing and applying asbestos-containing materials caused asbestos fibers to become airborne, which workers inhaled.
Flanges between pipes, valves and pumps were sealed with asbestos-containing gasket material. During maintenance procedures, workers scraped old, worn gaskets off flanges. The old gaskets were replaced with either prefabricated gaskets, or gaskets cut from sheets of asbestos-containing gasket material. Pump shafts and valve stems were sealed with asbestos packing material in order to prevent leaks. Old packing material was removed from pumps and valves with a packing hook, and new packing material was cut to fit. When gaskets and packing material were removed and replaced, asbestos dust and fibers became airborne. Most workers were completely unaware of the dangers of exposure to asbestos dust, and they performed their work without masks or protective gear.
Our attorneys have gathered a vast amount of information concerning the type and variety of asbestos containing products to which our clients were exposed. If you or a loved one once worked at the Kendall Refining Company in Bradford, Pennsylvania, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, please contact us for a free case evaluation.