Sampson Air Force Base was established in 1951 on the site of a former Naval Training Station near Romulus, New York. Adjacent to Seneca Lake, the base spanned over 2,600 acres and consisted of hundreds of buildings, including barracks, mess halls, drill halls, medical facilities, chapels, administrative offices and aviation support buildings. Over 300,000 airmen were trained at the base, as it was used as a training center for United States Air Force recruits during the Korean War. In 1956, Sampson Air Force Base closed because of a decrease in the military budget after the end of the Korean War. In 1957, the base airfield was taken over by the United States Army in order to support operations at the nearby Seneca Army Depot. In 1960, the State of New York purchased the remainder of Sampson Air Force Base, and it demolished most of the buildings at the base. In 1964, Sampson State Park opened on the location of the former Air Force Base.
Prior to the late 1970s, asbestos-containing materials were utilized in the maintenance and upkeep of the buildings at Sampson Air Force Base. Workers who handled asbestos-containing materials are at risk for developing mesothelioma or lung cancer.
The buildings at Sampson Air Force Base were heated by steam boilers, which were located in nearly every building on the base. Steam was delivered to radiators through a system of pipes and valves. In order to maintain a steady internal temperature in the heating system, boilers, pipes and valves were insulated with asbestos-containing materials, such as pipe covering, insulating cement and block insulation. Air Force personnel and civilian contractors maintained the heating systems and performed repairs. During maintenance and repair procedures, asbestos-containing materials were removed in order to access the heating system. When the maintenance or repair procedure was complete, workers applied new asbestos insulation. Removing and applying asbestos-containing insulating materials caused asbestos fibers and dust to become airborne. Even individuals who were in the vicinity of where this work took place were exposed to asbestos.
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 Sampson Air Force Base and have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma or lung cancer, please contact us for a free case evaluation.