Philadelphia is Pennsylvania’s largest city and an important historical landmark. 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.
Its many industrial facilities, including two airports, several railroad lines, and the former U.S. Naval Yard, make Philadelphia an economic powerhouse. Yet, Philadelphia is located in a state known for its high incidence of asbestos-related illnesses among industrial workers.
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.
Philadelphia and Asbestos Issues
Since its founding in 1692, Philadelphia’s industrial focus has gone through a number of changes. Although the city’s economy is based on information technologies, service industries, education, and tourism, Philadelphia was once a major manufacturing center.
During the 19th Century, the textile industry was the city’s economic staple. Later, as the U.S. became more heavily mechanized, railroad factories and shipyards became important to Philadelphia’s economic growth. The city’s location at the confluence of two rivers with an outlet to the Atlantic made Philadelphia suitable for the Navy, which built a major shipbuilding and repair facility that operated for over a century.
These industries shared a connection to asbestos, a family of fibrous yet dangerous minerals prized for their ability to resist heat and corrosion. Asbestos products were used by many manufacturers in a multitude of ways. Steam engines on locomotives and ships had gaskets, pipes, and valves lined with asbestos. Textile mills used asbestos in machinery to protect it from friction-related heat.
Homes and public buildings built with insulation, roofing materials, flooring panels, cement, and other components had asbestos or were laced with the fibrous minerals.
Major Job Sites Known to Have Asbestos Exposure Issues
Since asbestos was widely used until the early 1980s, numerous Americans were exposed to the toxic mineral fibers. Tradesmen, workers, and military personnel in the Philadelphia area worked at job sites where long-term exposure to asbestos became common. Many workers developed asbestos-related illnesses, including asbestos-related lung cancer, asbestosis, and malignant mesothelioma.
Philadelphia Naval Shipyard
From 1801 to 1970, the U.S. Navy built many of its warships and support vessels at the Naval Shipyard. The large facility also served as a major repair and refit center for the Navy’s Atlantic Fleet until 1995. The main Navy Yard was 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.
Although the Navy used asbestos in its vessels as early as the 1830s, the service utilized the dangerous minerals mainly in 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
- Hog Island Shipyard
- New York Shipbuilding Company
- Cramps Shipbuilding Company
- Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock Company
Hospitals Associated with Asbestos
Several of the city’s hospitals were created during the time period in which asbestos was used while constructing buildings. 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
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.