Linde Air Products was founded in 1907, as the American subsidiary of German industrial gas manufacturer Linde AG. The original Linde plant was located on Chandler Street in Buffalo, New York. It was the first plant in the United States to manufacture liquid oxygen, and it also manufactured other industrial gases, such as acetylene, nitrogen and xenon. In 1917, Linde Air Products was acquired by Union Carbide. Linde transferred its manufacturing operations to its Tonawanda plant in 1937, but it continued to use the Chandler Street plant for research and development projects. During World War II, engineers at the Chandler Street plant developed equipment to refine weapons-grade uranium, as part of the Manhattan Project. The Chandler Street plant was sold after World War Two. The plant was demolished in 2005 after a series of fires damaged the structure.
Asbestos-containing materials were utilized during maintenance and repair procedures at the Chandler Street plant. Workers who applied and maintained asbestos-containing materials at Linde Air Products, are at risk for developing mesothelioma or lung cancer.
In order to insulate hoses used to offload liquid gases from tanker trucks, raw asbestos fiber was packed tightly into burlap bags and wrapped around the hoses. A paddle was used to pack the asbestos into the burlap bag. Handling and packing the raw asbestos fiber caused fibers to become airborne, which workers inhaled.
Asbestos-containing gaskets were used in pipe systems at the Linde Chandler Street plant to ensure a proper seal between pipe flanges, pumps or valves. Workers fabricated gaskets from sheets of asbestos-containing gasket material. Cutting gasket materials emitted asbestos dust into the air. When a gasket was replaced during maintenance or repair procedures, it was scraped off its flange. Removing gaskets also released asbestos dust and fibers, which were inhaled by workers.
Steam was used to heat the Linde Chandler Street plant, and it was also used as a component of the manufacturing process. Boilers produced steam, which was delivered to radiators and manufacturing equipment through a system of pipes. Asbestos-containing block insulation, insulating cement and pipe covering were applied to pipes and boilers in order to maintain a steady internal temperature within the steam system. Workers removed asbestos-containing insulation during maintenance and repair procedures. New insulation was applied when maintenance or repair procedures were completed. Applying and removing asbestos-containing insulation caused asbestos fibers to become airborne.
Inhaling dust and particles from the application of asbestos-containing materials placed workers at risk for developing an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma or lung cancer. Even those who were not in direct contact with asbestos materials remain at risk for developing an asbestos-related disease. If you or a loved one worked at the Linde Chandler Street plant and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.