Resources for Patients and their Families

Manhattan, New York

Manhattan is the oldest of the five boroughs of New York City in the state of New York. Its borders are concurrent with those of New York County, and consist of Manhattan Island, several nearby islands including Roosevelt, Ward's and Governors Islands, and the neighborhood of Marble Hill. New York County is one of the most densely populated regions in the world, with more than 1.6 million residents occupying an area of just under 23 square miles. For many people, Manhattan is nearly synonymous with New York City, and a potent symbol of the U.S.A. as a whole. Manhattan is a hub of numerous industries - film & television, fashion, publishing, finance. Manhattan is home to the United Nations headquarters, and the New York Stock Exchange. Another famous landmark, Central Park, occupies 843 acres of Manhattan, providing green space and recreation for millions of visitors each year.

By the 19th century, Manhattan had become a major seaport, and waves of European immigrants entered Manhattan through Ellis and Governor's Islands, fueling an industrial and construction boom that lasted well into the 20th century, producing many of the city's iconic skyscrapers. Western Electric Company, Inc., incorporated in 1915, manufactured telephones and other electrical products for AT&T and Bell System companies. Although industry declined and crime increased in the 1960s and 1970s, the 1980s saw the reemergence of the city as a financial center. In recent years, efforts to encourage tourism have made Manhattan a popular vacation destination.

Manhattan has a lengthy and varied history of industry and construction, putting it in a high risk category for asbestos exposure. Workers exposed to asbestos may be at risk to develop mesothelioma, a cancer of the lungs. If you were exposed to asbestos in Manhattan and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should also consider contacting a mesothelioma law firm.

Asbestos Exposure at Jobsites in Manhattan

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance has compiled information obtained from a number of sources to identify the following jobsites in Manhattan where asbestos exposure was known to have occurred. These sites are listed below.

  • Con Edison
  • Fordham University
  • Gene Fenn Photography
  • Harlem River Houses Ii
  • Hotel Pierre
  • Junior High School
  • La Guardia Houses Additions
  • Mabstoa
  • Motel Sheraton
  • Stephen Wise Houses
  • UN Headquarters
  • Western Electric

Power Plants

Power plants are an absolute necessity for any urban area and perhaps more so for the demands of the city that never sleeps. Manhattan's power grid is an essential for supporting the city. It is unfortunate that power plants such as those found in Manhattan are highly likely to contain asbestos and anyone working in or around these plants are at risk for asbestos exposure. Asbestos was used frequently in materials or environments that are prone to temperature changes. Because of its insulation qualities, asbestos was ideally suited for this purpose. Nearly all electrical, gas, and piping fixtures used by energy companies used asbestos to some extent or another at some point in their construction. One of Manhattan's primary energy suppliers is Consolidated Edison (Con Edison). Con Edison has long had an association with asbestos products and some recent incidents have brought those hazards to light.

In July of 2007, a massive steam-pipe explosion rocked midtown Manhattan during the afternoon rush hour. The steam pipe was a Con-Edison fixture. It was also laden with asbestos. At 41st St. and Lexington Ave., the explosion created a 35 foot crater in the Manhattan street grid. Understandably, New Yorkers can be especially sensitive to explosions in Manhattan and the blast resulted in one shock related death, as well as a few related injuries. However, countless others may have been exposed to harmful asbestos particles which may cause illness later down the road. When the blast occurred much of the previously covered asbestos particles were thrust towards the street level, while being released into the air and dust surrounding the incident. If inhaled, these particles pose serious health concerns for those in the area.

Similar incidents involving Con Edison fixtures have occurred in the past in Manhattan as well as in the surrounding boroughs. It is important that those who may have been in the area that day monitor their health diligently to observe any abnormal respiratory symptoms that may develop. These symptoms could signal potentially dangerous asbestos-related illnesses like mesothelioma.


While much of Manhattan's shipping industry has either fallen by the wayside or relocated to Brooklyn and New Jersey, its roots remain as a port city. Manhattan represented not only a port gateway to New York, but also a port gateway to a new country and new way of life for many immigrant families. Years ago, the shipping industry drove the Manhattan economy. While banking and financial services dominate the economy of lower Manhattan today, shipyards are part of the borough's roots and heritage.

Shipyards are one of the primary asbestos exposure sites across the country. No other industry has produced more asbestos related diseases as the shipping industry has. While those who are aboard ships may encounter asbestos, it is typically those who work and service vessels that are at the most risk of asbestos exposure. Shipbuilders used a great deal of asbestos and asbestos containing products to insulate piping and electrical fixtures within ships prior to the material's federal ban in the late 1970's. Those who were exposed to asbestos may be at risk for developing harmful respiratory complications. It is important that if you worked in a shipyard, such as the old Manhattan shipyards, that you seek out medical attention to address any harmful effects that asbestos exposure may have caused.

World Trade Center

The events of September 11th will forever alter America's perception of that date. The awful terrorist attacks of that day will always haunt our collective national memory. Never before had we felt the shock or vulnerability which that day instilled within us. Unfortunately, the effects of that day live on not only in a collective American conscience, but also in the harmful toxins that many were exposed to that day. These harmful toxins could potentially cause negative health effects haunting victims for years. One of the more prominent toxins found in the World Trade Center dust was asbestos.

Studies say that the World Trade Center complex included over 400 tons of asbestos in its 7 buildings. When these buildings were destroyed, this asbestos was released into the air. Reports around Ground Zero in the coming days confirmed the presence of asbestos but many continued to work in the hazardous dust as a duty to their jobs and country. Rescue workers, firefighters and other first responders were exposed to many to many toxins in the air that day. A respiratory complication known as the 'world trade center cough' has arisen in some of those who were there that day and is a scary prospect of what might still be to come. One first responder has already died from mesothelioma cancer, for which the only known cause is asbestos exposure. Those who were employed in the towers and local residents could also have been affected by asbestos at the site. It is important that if you fall into one of these categories that you seek appropriate medical counsel. There are free respiratory screening programs in place for those who were present at Ground Zero on September 11th.

Filing an Asbestos Lawsuit in Manhattan, New York

Don’t lose your rights! If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and were exposed to asbestos in New York, you may be entitled to compensation. You may have limited time to file a claim. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and have a pathology report in hand to support that diagnosis, you are eligible for financial assistance.

Asbestos Related News in New York

Hazardous Substances Spilled During Asbestos Search at Former Paper Mill

Hazardous materials were leaked at a former paper mill near Fort Drum in Upstate NY while searching for asbestos. Read more at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.

Mesothelioma Cases Expected to Increase Through 2025

A new report shows the number of malignant mesothelioma cases is expected to rise through at least 2025. Read more at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.

Asbestos Exposure Across the U.S.

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