Asbestos-containing materials covered a vast majority of the pipe lines and associated equipment throughout Allied Chemical’s plants and production facilities. Allied Chemical facilities, a/k/a AlliedSignal, now Honeywell International Inc., regularly utilized asbestos at their many sites. Allied Chemical maintained three production facilities in Western New York: Semet-Solvay (Tonawanda Coke), Buffalo Color and Solvay Process Company.
Until the mid-1970s, asbestos-containing materials were utilized as efficient insulation for intensely heated equipment including pipelines, valves and pumps in and around the coke ovens, chemical manufacturing facilities, dye plants and boiler houses. 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 hazardous asbestos dust and fibers, which workers routinely inhaled, placing employees at risk of developing serious health problems. Even those who were not in direct contact with asbestos materials remain at risk for the development of asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma or lung cancer.