In recent years, utility workers involved in the operation and maintenance of Niagara Mohawk Corporation powerhouses, now National Grid, have developed and died of mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases. Laborers who worked in the utility industry were at high risk for exposure to asbestos-containing products. Asbestos insulation lined steam pipes, boilers, pumps, turbine generators and other equipment throughout Niagara Mohawk powerhouses and substations.
Prior to the mid-1970s, asbestos-containing materials were utilized as efficient insulation for intensely heated equipment, such as pipes, boilers and turbines. Inhaling dust and particles from the application and maintenance of asbestos insulation and other materials placed employees at risk of developing serious health problems. Even those 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.
The Niagara Mohawk Corporation owned and maintained many powerhouses and utility substations throughout New York State. The Huntley and Dunkirk stations were once considered to be the largest steam generator plants in New York. Asbestos was used extensively in the utility industry as insulation for high-heat temperature equipment, including turbines, large boilers, pumps, steam lines and valves. As a result of asbestos exposure at the Niagara Mohawk utility stations, many workers developed mesothelioma, a cancer that is only caused by exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos insulation literally covered every piece of equipment at the Dunkirk and Huntley Stations. These coal fired plants contained miles of steam pipe lines that were lined with asbestos insulation. Asbestos could also be found in gaskets and in the block insulation that covered boilers and turbines. Asbestos gaskets were used because of their durability and ability to withstand high heat temperatures.
There were periods of time where Niagara Mohawk stations shut-down, so that workers could perform maintenance on the aging equipment. During this time, worn asbestos insulation that covered pipes was torn-down, and workers assisted with dismantling and replacing the asbestos insulation. This process was extremely messy and would create enormous dust clouds. Many workers were not aware of the dangers of exposure to the asbestos dust, and carried on their work without masks or protective gear.
The attorneys at Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC have gathered a vast amount of information concerning the type and variety of asbestos-containing products at Niagara Mohawk power stations. 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 Niagara Mohawk power station and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.
* Pictured above, NIMO Huntley Power Generating Station