Posted on October 28, 2022

A week after reporting asbestos contamination at OxyChem’s Niagara Falls chlorine plant, Pro Publica has revealed that neighbors at another of the company’s New York plants have been affected malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. The publication reports that since the 1990s, the company has been named in multiple personal injury lawsuits, many of which have been settled out of court.

Mesothelioma Victims Recall Blue Dust on Windowsills and Ball Pits

According to the mesothelioma victims and their neighbors quoted in the Pro Publica story, OxyChem’s industrial plastics plant was located just a mile from their neighborhood in North Tonawanda, New York. Residents remember blue dust that regularly settled on window sills, feathery blue material lying on freshly fallen snow, and blue material strewn about a Little League ball diamond where children played. People have found asbestos inside their homes and on the seats of their vehicles.

Pro Publica has found that the majority of mesothelioma lawsuits brought against OxyChem by these neighbors have been settled out of court: the company has always denied liability for the victims’ injuries. The company also denied mishandling of asbestos at its chlorine plant in Niagara Falls, New York, located just ten miles from the plastics plant. Last week, Pro Publica detailed how asbestos accumulated at this plant and the lack of protection offered to employees.

A plastics factory had been named in mesothelioma lawsuits by former employees

According to the lawsuits filed by the victims, when asbestos dust accumulated in the plastics factory, the workers were instructed to use air hoses to blow them out, which is how the residents think the toxic material has reached their neighborhood. Workers sickened by the equipment have already filed suit against the factory. Today, many former employees remember the 100-pound bags of asbestos they worked with and how the material covered their faces and coated their work clothes.

Careless handling of asbestos like that described in the Pro Publica article has been blamed for mesothelioma diagnoses for decades. If you or someone you love has been a victim, contact Patient Advocates at today at 1-800-692-8608.

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Written by Terri Oppenheimer

Terri HeimannOppenheimer
Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the editor of our news blog She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge equals power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and the stories of victims.

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