Solvay Process SyracuseThe Solvay Process Company was founded in 1881 by Rowland Hazard and William B. Cogswell. It was the first company in the United States to utilize the Solvay process for manufacturing sodium carbonate, which was invented in Belgium in 1861 by Ernest Solvay. Syracuse, New York, was selected for Solvay’s first plant because of its plentiful resources for limestone and brine. In addition to sodium carbonate, the plant also manufactured calcium chloride and baking soda. In 1920, Solvay Process Company merged with Barret Chemical Company, General Chemical Company, National Aniline & Chemical Company and Semet-Solvay Company to form Allied Chemical & Dye Corporation. Solvay Process Company remained a subsidiary of Allied Chemical until 1985, when Allied closed the Solvay plant.

Prior to the late 1970s, asbestos-containing pipe covering, insulating cement and block insulation were utilized in the maintenance and upkeep of the buildings at Solvay Process Company. Workers who applied or removed asbestos-containing materials, or individuals who were in the vicinity of where this work took place, are at risk for developing mesothelioma or lung cancer.

At Solvay Process Company, systems of pipes, valves and pumps transported steam and chemicals used during the manufacturing processes for sodium carbonate, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide, calcium chloride, baking soda, chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, sodium sesquicarbonate and calcium sulfate. Asbestos-containing insulation was applied to pipes and other equipment in order to contain corrosive materials and to maintain a stable internal temperature within the steam and chemical pipe systems. Workers removed asbestos insulation in order to access equipment during maintenance or repair procedures. New insulation was applied when this process was finished. Removing and applying asbestos-containing materials, such as pipe covering, insulating cement and block insulation, emitted asbestos dust and fibers, which workers inhaled.

In the process of representing workers and their families, we have gathered a vast amount of information regarding the type and variety of asbestos-containing products to which our clients were exposed. Our clients understand the importance of securing legal representation as soon as possible after a diagnosis of mesothelioma or lung cancer. If you or a loved one were once employed at Solvay Process Company and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.

* Image above provided by: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number NY,34-SOLV,1D-24.