Since the 1800s, numerous products, from building materials to electronics, have been manufactured with asbestos. For many years, asbestos was thought to be harmless until exposure began to result in serious illness for countless victims.

Of these products, radios containing asbestos were prominent decades ago. Now, individuals who have either used or manufactured these radios are experiencing asbestos-related illnesses. These illnesses not only alter a victim’s life but also result in extensive medical costs and suffering for victims and their families.

If you or a loved one have been exposed to radios with asbestos and now suffer an illness, you may have legal options. Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC wants to hear your story.

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is composed of six natural minerals made of flexible, heat-resistant fibers. These fibers have been used in a variety of construction materials, manufactured goods, and other products for many years.

The asbestos fibers separate very easily, making them difficult to see but easy to inhale. When ingested, they can become trapped in the lungs and cause multiple health issues. These health problems often develop over time and are not immediately evident.

Asbestos was used frequently many years ago until its dangers were discovered. While many attempts have been made to ban asbestos altogether in the United States, products containing asbestos still exist.

Illnesses Caused by Asbestos Exposure

Unfortunately, asbestos exposure can cause many illnesses with a variety of symptoms. The most common illnesses and their symptoms are as follows.


Mesothelioma is a type of aggressive and malignant cancer resulting from asbestos exposure.

Symptoms of mesothelioma can take quite some time to begin, usually occurring 10-50 years after asbestos exposure. Additionally, these symptoms are often confused with other types of illness, making a proper diagnosis more challenging.

Mesothelioma is separated by type, depending on the location in the body, including:

  • Pleural mesothelioma (lungs)
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma (abdomen)
  • Pericardial mesothelioma (heart)
  • Testicular mesothelioma

Each type of mesothelioma comes with its own particular symptoms. Common symptoms of mesothelioma include:

  • Chest or abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight loss
  • Fever and night sweats
  • Painful and persistent coughing

Treatments are available that may improve a patient’s prognosis, but there is no cure.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer causes more deaths than any other type of cancer in the United States. Asbestos exposure can result in lung cancer, usually emerging 15-35 years after exposure.

Symptoms of asbestos-related lung cancer include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent coughing
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Wheezing
  • Chronic fatigue

Doctors typically link asbestos exposure to a lung cancer diagnosis by determining when a patient was exposed and finding evidence of asbestos exposure in the body.


Asbestosis is a type of lung disease directly caused by inhaling asbestos. Like other types of asbestos-related illnesses, asbestosis does not typically arise until years after exposure.

Common symptoms of asbestosis include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent cough
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Weight loss
  • A crackling sound in the lungs when breathing in
  • Clubbing of the fingers and toes

Asbestosis treatments aim to manage symptoms and protect lung function.

Radios Containing Asbestos

Before transistors became readily available in the 1970’s radios used vacuum tubes. This older technology used in almost every home in America contained and asbestos pad known as a heat shield. This heat shield had been placed in the radios because radios cabinets were made out of wood or an early form of plastic known as Bakelite or Cataln.  When a tube radio was playing the tubes heated up and the shield was in place to prevent the plastic or wood case from being damaged. Although the asbestos was certainly one way to solve this problem, there were alternate designs available to accomplish the same result which did not put the lives of radio enthusiasts and repairmen at risk.

Many popular radio manufacturers utilized asbestos in the production of their radios, including General Electric, Westinghouse, Philco, Motorola, Bendix and many others

Exposure to Radios Containing Asbestos Could Be Grounds for a Lawsuit

General Electric manufactured two radios containing asbestos:

  • General Electric Model 200 Brown Radio
  • General Electric Model 201 White Radio

The General Electric Model 200 radio contains an astonishing 80% asbestos, which is found in the heat shield. Similarly, the General Electric Model 201 radio contains 66.7% asbestos in the heat shield.

Exposure to Radios Containing Asbestos Could Be Grounds for a Lawsuit

Individuals using these radios did not know the possible risks of using these radios containing asbestos. Now, years later, these same individuals are presenting with asbestos-related diseases caused by these particular radios.

Job Sites Causing Asbestos Exposure

Whether you owned an asbestos radio or worked on a job site manufacturing radios containing asbestos, you may have suffered significant exposure. The following job sites have been investigated for high asbestos exposure.

General Electric Electronics Park

General Electric constructed its electronics division in Liverpool, NY, in 1947. In particular, Building 5 of the Electronics Park manufactured radios containing asbestos.

Not only were products with asbestos used in the manufacturing of goods, but like many construction materials at that time, various materials used in the buildings themselves contained asbestos.

Working at the General Electric Electronics Park meant vast exposure to asbestos, often resulting in asbestos-related illnesses, including mesothelioma and lung cancer.

GTE Sylvania

GTE Sylvania, located in Seneca Falls, NY, was an electronic-equipment manufacturing company. Although ownership changed to Philips in 1980, the plant continued to manufacture many electronic devices until it was shut down in 1986.

Being a manufacturing company, GTE Sylvania manufactured many products distributed to other businesses, further exposing others to products containing asbestos.

Because many of the products used to manufacture goods contained asbestos, the heating, forming, and fitting processes continuously exposed employees.

Additionally, during repairs and maintenance projects at the plant, asbestos dust would fill the air, causing workers to inhale it.

As a result of so much asbestos, many employees of the GTE Sylvania plant have developed many asbestos-related illnesses.


Originally located in Chicago, IL, Stromberg-Carlson was a telephone manufacturing company. In 1902, the company moved to Rochester, NY. The company focused on manufacturing communication equipment for telephones and radios.

In 1955, the company changed hands to General Dynamics, and by 1970, approximately 5,000 individuals were employed.

Before the 1970s, materials containing asbestos were used in the construction and maintenance of the building. Therefore, employees working for the company consistently inhaled asbestos every time they stepped foot in the building. As a result, many of the employees have suffered from asbestos-related diseases.

Delco Rochester Products Division

Delco Rochester Products Division manufactured carburetors, fuel injectors, valves, tubing, locks, keys and various other parts for General Motors automobile brands.

In 1936, Delco began producing the first dashboard-installed car radios. By the early 1970s, Delco had become a major supplier of automotive electronics equipment. Based in Kokomo, Indiana, Delco Electronics employed more than 30,000 at its peak.  In early 1956, Delco produced a transistorized hybrid signal-seeking car radio, which used both vacuum tubes and transistors in its radio’s circuitry. Transistors were used to replace the radio’s audio output vacuum tubes and also the vibrator.

Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC represents former workers and retirees from Delco Rochester Products Division. In the process of representing these workers and their families, we have gathered a vast amount of information concerning the types of asbestos-containing materials to which our clients were exposed.

Statute of Limitations for Asbestos-Related Cases

One of the most prominent questions regarding asbestos-related cases is how long a victim has to sue for their injuries. Because asbestos cases are so unique, it can be tricky.

In New York, a victim has three years from the date the victim learns of the illness or should have reasonably learned of their illness. If the victim passes away, their family has two years to file a lawsuit.

Even if you are not diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness for 10, 20, or even 30 years after exposure, you still have legal options. As soon as you learn of your illness make sure to discuss your situation with a skilled New York asbestos attorney.

Speak with an Asbestos Attorney in New York Today

Since 1995, Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC has been seeking justice for asbestos victims in New York. Our firm understands the unique and sensitive nature of these types of cases, allowing us to offer clients the most sincere compassion and empathy while we handle their cases.

In our over two decades of existence, we’ve helped recover over a billion dollars for our clients.

If you or a loved one have come in contact with a radio containing asbestos and have since developed an asbestos-related illness like mesothelioma, our firm wants to hear from you. Contact us today to request your free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. You can also learn more about asbestos exposure and mesothelioma by watching our educational videos.