01. Asbestos Use in Ambler
History of Asbestos Use in Ambler, Pennsylvania
Asbestos manufacturing began in Ambler in the 1880s. Access to natural resources and the nearby railroad made the town an attractive location for businesses.
Some companies even moved to Ambler because of these benefits. In 1881, Henry G. Keasbey and Dr. Richard V. Mattison moved their pharmaceutical business, Keasbey & Mattison Company, to Ambler.
In 1882, Mattison discovered he could create insulation with magnesium carbonate and asbestos. The discovery inspired Mattison to create a variety of other asbestos products. Keasbey and Mattison later changed their company’s offerings to focus solely on manufacturing asbestos products.
In 1896, Mattison opened the first asbestos textile plant in the United States and Ambler became a leader in asbestos manufacturing.
Keasbey & Mattison Manufactured Asbestos Products for Decades
With the establishment of the asbestos textile plant, Keasbey & Mattison Company became one of the largest local employers in Ambler. It manufactured a variety of asbestos products, including insulation, roof shingles, brake linings and fireproof curtains.
The company’s success in selling asbestos products led Mattison to purchase an asbestos mine in Quebec. The nearby railroad allowed Mattison to transport chrysotile asbestos from Quebec to Ambler.
Keasbey & Mattison manufactured and sold asbestos products for years. The company’s success in the asbestos industry made Mattison a wealthy man. Mattison owned several businesses, including the town’s bank and all of Ambler’s utility companies. He also funded the construction of the town’s library and opera house.
As the asbestos industry in Ambler grew, more workers and residents risked dangerous asbestos exposure.
02. Asbestos Lawsuits in Ambler
Ambler, Pennsylvania’s Asbestos Industry Has Led to Thousands of Lawsuits
The large number of workers exposed to asbestos in Ambler led to thousands of asbestos-related lawsuits.
Keasbey & Mattison employed many people living in Ambler. A Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) report from 1920 stated the company employed 900 men. Over the years, many former Keasbey & Mattison workers have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease.
“Workers mixed raw asbestos fibers from burlap bags into cement slurries before they pressed, dried, and cut the hardened mass into shingles.”
-Samson Reiny, Living in the Town Asbestos Built
Many workers were exposed to asbestos while employed at Keasbey & Mattison. In some cases, their family members also experienced secondhand asbestos exposure. As a result, many people later developed mesothelioma.
Before the 1970s, the public did not understand the dangers of asbestos. Often, asbestos factory workers in Ambler were not concerned about inhaling asbestos fibers. Workers came home with asbestos on their clothes and exposed family members to the mineral.
Beginning in the 1930s, companies also started dumping asbestos in several piles throughout Ambler. The asbestos piles were nicknamed the “White Mountains” of Ambler.
At times, homes and vehicles close to the large asbestos piles were covered with asbestos dust. There were also playgrounds nearby and children were known to play in the “White Mountains.”
Asbestos manufacturing continued in Ambler until 1987. At that time, Keasbey & Mattison’s parent company, Nicolet Industries, Inc., filed for bankruptcy after facing more than 60,000 asbestos-related lawsuits.
Keasbey & Mattison’s asbestos use affected thousands of individuals, including the company’s workers and other people who used their products elsewhere. If you were exposed to asbestos in Pennsylvania at a commercial, residential or military site and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation.
Finding a Lawyer or Law Firm in Ambler, Pennsylvania
Ambler victims diagnosed with an asbestos-related cancer can seek legal assistance from a mesothelioma law firm. Mesothelioma lawyers are experienced in filing lawsuits on behalf of victims and their families. A lawyer with Pennsylvania asbestos law experience can help victims and their families with the entire process, including filing a lawsuit and negotiating a settlement.
Asbestos victims may also be eligible to seek mesothelioma compensation from other sources. For example, many asbestos companies have set up trust funds to pay out asbestos claims. A mesothelioma lawyer may suggest filing claims in addition to a lawsuit to secure higher compensation.
Deadlines for Filing Mesothelioma Lawsuits in Ambler, Pennsylvania
Each state has its own deadlines for filing different types of lawsuits. These deadlines are outlined by the state’s statutes of limitations. A mesothelioma lawyer can help asbestos victims meet any filing deadlines.
Statutes of Limitations for Ambler
Claims must be filed within 2 years after an asbestos-related diagnosis.
Claims must be filed within 2 years after an asbestos-related death.
Successful mesothelioma lawsuits have been filed in Ambler. Lawsuit compensation can help pay for things like treatment costs, lost wages and loss of future income. Examples of clients in Ambler who received compensation include:
Occupation: Office worker
Jobsites Worked at: Boiler Erection & Repair (1952 – 1982)
Occupations: Laborer, Navy
Jobsites Worked at: Edward Berry Farm (1950); Keasbey & Mattison Company (1947 – 1951)
03. EPA Asbestos Cleanups in Ambler
Asbestos Cleanup Efforts in Ambler, Pennsylvania
For decades, asbestos companies dumped asbestos in piles in Ambler. After the dangers of asbestos became well known, the town needed help cleaning up asbestos to protect residents.
The dangers of asbestos became more publicly known in the 1970s. In 1973, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began remediation efforts at the asbestos dumping sites.
Over the years, the EPA has added several asbestos piles in Ambler to their Superfund list. Superfund sites are areas contaminated with hazards such as asbestos. The Superfund program managed by the EPA allows the agency to clean up hazardous areas and protect the public.
At the Ambler Superfund sites, the EPA carried out cleanup efforts to remove immediate and long-term health threats.
Ambler Asbestos Piles Superfund Site
The Ambler Asbestos Piles Superfund site consisted of three asbestos-containing waste piles. Asbestos dumping at the site contaminated the air, soil, sediments and surface water.
In 1974, the EPA documented that the asbestos piles contained 1.5 million cubic yards of asbestos waste and spanned more than 25 acres.
The EPA performed remediation and removal efforts at the site over several years to decrease immediate health effects.
In 1986, the Ambler asbestos piles were placed on the National Priorities List of hazardous waste sites. This means the site was eligible for long-term remediation supported by the federal Superfund program.
Cleanup of the Ambler asbestos piles included capping the piles and establishing vegetative soil cover, erosion control, fencing and signage. These measures were implemented to help contain the toxic mineral and keep individuals from disturbing the site.
The EPA’s cleanup efforts finished in 1993. The Ambler piles were taken off the National Priorities List in 1996. The EPA still monitors the site to protect the health of Ambler residents.
BoRit Asbestos Piles Superfund Site
In 2009, the BoRit Superfund site in Ambler was added to the National Priorities List. The EPA added the site to the list after lobbying efforts from the advocacy group Citizens for a Better Ambler.
Asbestos manufacturers dumped asbestos-containing materials at the BoRit Superfund site from the early 1900s to the late 1960s. The asbestos pile spanned 2.5 acres.
The EPA covered all the asbestos-containing materials in the area to protect against exposure. The EPA’s cleanup of the BoRit Asbestos Superfund site was completed in 2017. The EPA will continue long-term maintenance and oversight of the site.
04. Mesothelioma in Ambler
Health Impacts of Asbestos in Ambler, Pennsylvania
Due to years of asbestos manufacturing in Ambler, many workers and their family members experienced asbestos exposure. This caused thousands of individuals to develop mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
It can take 10 – 50 years for mesothelioma to present with symptoms after initial asbestos exposure. As a result of this long latency period, Ambler residents continue to face elevated cases of asbestos-related diseases.
Mesothelioma Incidence in Ambler, Pennsylvania
According to a study published in 2011 by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH), mesothelioma incidence was 3.1 times higher in Ambler than the statewide average.
For the PADOH study, researchers analyzed mesothelioma cases in Ambler from 1992 to 2008. Researchers found the mesothelioma rates in Ambler were:
- 2.7 times higher than average for men
- 4.5 times higher than average for women
The researchers also stated mesothelioma rates for neighboring towns were not elevated.
According to PADOH and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the mesothelioma cases are most likely related to exposure in asbestos manufacturing facilities in Ambler.
More recent data have also shown an elevated impact of mesothelioma and asbestos diseases in Ambler. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Montgomery County ranked 12th in the nation for mesothelioma mortality between 1999 and 2020.
A mesothelioma diagnosis may not occur until many years after initial asbestos exposure. Although asbestos Superfund sites in Ambler have been cleaned up, citizens who were exposed before remediation may be at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.
Are Ambler, Pennsylvania Residents Safe From Asbestos Exposure Today?
According to the PADOH study, current residents are safe from community asbestos exposure. The PADOH says in order to avoid asbestos exposure, residents should stay out of restricted sites and comply with safety regulations.
Residents who came into contact with asbestos in the past may still be at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease. Anyone with a known history of asbestos exposure should consult with their doctor. A physician can help monitor for mesothelioma to present with symptoms.
Mesothelioma is a rare disease. As such, it is important that patients consult with a mesothelioma specialist who has expertise in treating this type of cancer.
05. Mesothelioma Treatment in Ambler
Ambler, Pennsylvania Mesothelioma Treatment
Mesothelioma patients in Ambler can seek treatment at several nearby cancer centers. For example, there are several mesothelioma cancer centers located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. These centers offer multidisciplinary teams of specialists who focus on personalized patient care and comfort. They may also provide patients access to mesothelioma clinical trials.
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center
Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
The Wistar Institute Cancer Center
Temple Lung Center
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
NYU Langone Medical Center
Mount Sinai Medical Center
Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center
NY-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center
Albert Einstein Cancer Center
06. Mesothelioma Doctors in Ambler
Ambler, Pennsylvania Mesothelioma Doctors
Several doctors who specialize in mesothelioma treatment are located close to Ambler. They work one-on-one with patients and their families to develop personalized care plans. Mesothelioma doctors near Ambler may help patients access a variety of treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.