The BASF plant in Rensselaer was established in 1882 as the Hudson River Aniline Color Works. The building that was erected in 1882 was the sole building for the plant and served as its production, engineering and administrative facility until 1895, when a fire burned the building to the ground. The main plant building was rebuilt shortly after the fire in 1895. By the early 1900s, the Rensselaer facility was well known for the manufacture of dyes, coal tar, benzene and other chemicals. During its 118 year history, the BASF-Rensselaer underwent numerous mergers, reorganizations, and management and name changes. Most notably, the Rensselaer facility was taken over by the United States government in 1917 when the U.S. declared war on Germany because at this time, the plant was owned by German investors. Following WWI, the plant returned to private ownership, but it was once again seized by the Federal Government during World War II.  In 1978, the plant was acquired by BASF, a German chemical company.  BASF continued to manufacture dyes and chemicals from 1978 until the plant closed its doors in 2000, when its production lines were transferred to Mexico and Germany.

Prior to the late 1970s, asbestos-containing materials were utilized in the manufacture of dyes and chemicals, as well as plant maintenance at BASF in Rensselaer, New York. Inhaling dust and particles from the application and removal of asbestos-containing materials placed workers at risk for developing serious health problems, such as mesothelioma. Even those who were not in direct contact with asbestos materials remain at risk for the development of asbestos-related diseases. If you or a loved one were once employed at BASF Rensselaer, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer or another asbestos-related disease, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.