Philadelphia is Pennsylvania’s largest city and an important historical and industrial location. The former capital of the U.S. before Washington D.C. was built, Philadelphia is a major hub for industry and transportation on the East Coast. Many industries and buildings here used and contained asbestos that exposed workers in the past and still cause issues today.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may qualify for substantial compensation. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in Philadelphia, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more.
Free Financial Compensation Packet
- Info on law firms that will recover your highest compensation
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Philadelphia Asbestos Facts
- There were over 14,000 asbestos-related deaths in Pennsylvania between 1999 and 2013.
- During that period, 1,345 of those deaths were in Philadelphia County, the second-highest number in the state.
- Several employers industries in Philadelphia used asbestos and exposed workers, including the U.S. Navy, textile mills, and manufacturing plants.
- Philadelphia public schools are currently facing serious exposure risks in many of the district’s older buildings.
Philadelphia Industry and Asbestos Use
Philadelphia is an old city, founded in 1692, and has a long industrial history. It was once a major manufacturing center. In the late 19th century, the textile industry dominated, but also important were railroad factories and shipyards.
These industries all used asbestos for a significant period of time, causing exposure and illness in workers decades later. Steam engines on locomotives and ships had gaskets, pipes, and valves lined with asbestos. Textile mills used asbestos in machinery to protect against friction-related heat.
As the city grew it also saw a boom in construction, another industry that used asbestos heavily for a period of time. Homes and public buildings were built with asbestos insulation, roofing materials, flooring panels, cement, and other components.
Philadelphia Naval Shipyard
From 1801 to 1970, the U.S. Navy built many of its warships and support vessels at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. It served as a major repair and refit center for the Navy’s Atlantic Fleet until 1995. The main Navy Yard closed due to post-Cold War cuts in defense spending and cost the area 7,000 jobs.
Philadelphia acquired much of the property in the spring of 2000 and redeveloped most of it for various uses. The west end of the site is leased by Aker Solutions, which builds tankers and other commercial ships.
The Navy used asbestos heavily in its vessels through much of the 20th century. Peak use of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) at the Navy Yard occurred during World War II, when 52 new ships were built and over 500 were repaired or underwent major refits.
Consequently, yard workers and ships’ crews were in constant contact with ACMs and many of them have developed asbestos-related illnesses.
Other shipyards and ship companies associated with asbestos use in Philadelphia include:
- Hog Island Shipyard
- New York Shipbuilding Company
- Cramps Shipbuilding Company
- Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock Company
Hospitals Constructed with Asbestos
Several of the city’s hospitals were built during the period of heavy asbestos use in construction. All hospitals associated with asbestos must follow state and federal guidelines regarding asbestos containment and emergency procedures.
- Byberry State Mental Hospital
- Chestnut Hill
- Holy Redeemer
- Mercy Douglas
- Moss Rehabilitation
- Mt. Sinai
- Pennsylvania State
- Roxborough Memorial
- Saint Agnes
- Temple University
- Thomas Edison University
- United States Naval
- Philadelphia VA Medical Center
Asbestos in Philadelphia Schools
In the 2000s the Philadelphia School District began to face the dangers of asbestos in its infrastructure. Many older buildings contain asbestos and are in need of remediation or repairs to avoid exposure risks for students and staff.
The district has failed to act quickly enough for teachers who began a lawsuit to demand a rapid response. It is currently looking at spending $14 million on updating schools with asbestos.
The schools in the district with the highest numbers of reports of damaged and dangerous asbestos are:
- Frankford High School
- Lewis Elkin School
- Overbrook High School
- Robert Morris School
- Academy at Palumbo
- George W. Sharswood School
- John B. Kelly School
- Penrose School
- Roxborough High School
- Solomon Solis-Cohen School
Specialized Cancer Treatment in Philadelphia
Philadelphia is home to several medical facilities designated as Comprehensive Cancer Centers by the National Cancer Institute. This means that they meet high standards for treatment, research, and innovations in diagnosis, prevention, and treatment.
- Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania. 3400 Spruce Street, 215-615-5858.
- Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple University. 333 Cottman Avenue, 1-888-369-2427.
- Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University. 233 South 10th Street, 215-503-5692.
- The Wistar Institute Cancer Center. 3601 Spruce Street, 215-898-3700.
Getting Legal Help in Philadelphia
If you’ve been exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, remember that there is a good chance that you’ll qualify for compensation. Remember to fill out our form to get your free Financial Compensation Packet, with information on the leading asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers in your area.
Page Reviewed and Edited by Pennsylvania Mesothelioma Lawyer David Halpern
David Halpern is an associate attorney at the Pennsylvania mesothelioma firm Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler. He earned his law degree from the Widener University School of Law in 1987 and is now licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Halpern has dedicated his career to litigating on behalf of victims of asbestos exposure and was part of a 2010 team that won an $18 million-verdict for two victims.