Top Three Sites in Pennsylvania with Asbestos Exposure

Bystander Asbestos Exposure

Top Three Sites in Pennsylvania with Asbestos Exposure

According to the Environmental Working Group , between 1999 and 2017, 4,762 deaths were attributed to mesothelioma and asbestos in PA alone. Pennsylvania is ranked 4th in the U.S. for Mesothelioma and asbestos-related deaths. According to the United States Geological Survey , Pennsylvania is the site of four former asbestos mines and has at least 37 documented natural asbestos deposits. Pennsylvania’s economy historically was dependent on the shipbuilding, mining, and naval industries. The top three sites with asbestos exposure in Pennsylvania are in the following industries.

Power Plants

Several power plants are located in Pennsylvania. Penna Light, Heat & Power Co., Pennsylvania Light & Power Co., Harrisburg Light & Power Co, and others are known to have had asbestos issues. Power companies to insulate against electricity and heat in boilers, turbines, generators, and gaskets used asbestos.


Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are large commercial cities with access to waterways. Penn Shipbuilding, Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, Key Highway Shipyard, Pennsylvania Shipyard, Sun Shipbuilding, Hog Island Shipyard, and Philadelphia Naval Shipyard all have some reported level of asbestos exposure. Asbestos has historically been used extensively in various areas in shipbuilding and shipyards.

Steel Mills and Factories

The steel industry has been a significant component of Pennsylvania’s economy for most of the 20th century. Steel mills that used asbestos include Bethlehem Steel, LTV Steel, National Steel Co., Carnegie Steel Co., Paxton Iron & Steel Co, Phoenix Iron & Steel Co, Athos Steel Mill, U.S. Steel, and others. Asbestos was used in steel mills for insulation.

Sites in Pennsylvania with Asbestos Contamination:

1. Ambler Asbestos Piles Site

Until 1993, W. R. Grace shipped 436,274 tons of asbestos-contaminated vermiculite from its Libby, MT mine to seven towns in Pennsylvania for processing into products. W.R. Grace sent vermiculite contaminated with asbestos to the Keasebey & Mattison facilty in Ambler, PA, just north of Philadelphia. Due to the volume of material it processed, the Ambler site became known as the “asbestos-manufacturing capital of the world.” Dumping of asbestos-containing waste on the site began in the early 1930s and continued until 1974.

The EPA added the Ambler Asbestos Superfund Site to its list in 1986. The site is about 25 acres is made up of three asbestos-containing waste piles and a series of filter bed lagoons. The total volume of asbestos-contaminated waste in the piles is estimated to exceed 1.5 million cubic yards.

EPA cleanup was completed in 1993 and the site was removed from the EPA’s National Priorities List(NPL)list in 1996. The site continues on long-term maintenance and assessment.

2. BoRit Ambler Site

The BoRit Asbestos Site was used to dispose of asbestos-containing material from the early 1900s to the late 1960s that came from a nearby manufacturing plant. The BoRit Asbestos Superfund Site was added to EPA’s NPL of most hazardous waste sites on April 9, 2009.

The site consists of a 6-acre parcel containing a 2.5-acre asbestos waste pile, a 15-acre parcel that contains an 11-acre pond (also known as the reservoir), and an 11-acre former park area. Three bodies of water run either through or alongside the park.

EPA clean up was completed in 2018. The site remains on the EPA’s NPL for long-term operation and maintenance.

3. Huntertown Road, Adams County, PA

Several local companies including Westinghouse Electric Co. sent waste for disposal to this three-acre site from 1970 to 1980. The majority of the waste consists of paint sludge, asbestos, toxic metals and various solvents dumped on the site grounds. There are several small streams on site. Approximately 9,500 people live in the area and use wells within three miles of the site for drinking water. The site was placed on the EPA’s NPL list in 1986.and is continuing in the clean-up and remediation phase.

Between 1940 and 1979, an estimated 27.5 million workers were exposed to asbestos at work. Asbestos industry and insurance experts readily acknowledge that asbestos fibers begin causing tissue or cellular damage shortly after asbestos fibers are first inhaled and deposited in the lung and that the disease is progressive and irreversible. These experts also agree that the disease is typically diagnosed only in the advanced stages.

Get the Compensation You Deserve for Asbestos-Related Conditions.
Typically, there is a two-year time limit – or Statute of Limitation – after diagnosis for filing a lawsuit against an employer or another party to seek compensation for your asbestos-related illness in Pennsylvania.

Without a lawyer, you run the risk of not getting the money you need and deserve because of a mistake or missing deadline. You need to consult GPW. We will help you seek damages for your illness, from settlements or asbestos trust funds. Contact us today!

“Asbestos: Think Again: Deaths Due to Asbestos Related Diseases by State” Environmental Working Group, (March 4, 2004) [link]
“Environmental Concerns of Communities around Ambler, Pennsylvania”, U.S. EPA, (September 10, 2020) [link]
“Superfund Site: Hunterstown Road Strabon Township, PA”, U.S. EPA, [link]

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