Powerhouses operated by Con Ed

Occupational Asbestos Hazards

Before the dangerous effects of asbestos for human health were publicized, equipment requiring superior insulation used to be made of/coated with asbestos, now known to cause several diseases, including malignant cancer forms.

Power plants were a place where asbestos use was extremely common, due to their high insulation needs, because of the extreme amounts of heat generated. ConEd used to own a large numbers of such power plants in the US. Workers employed at ConEd at some point have been greatly affected by asbestos-related conditions.

The government sued ConEd in the late 1980s, after discovering several violations to the asbestos-control regulations already in place by that time. Unfortunately, it was alteady too late, as extensive asbestos contamination had already affected thousands of workers. In fact, asbestos could also stick to clothing, allowing for workers to take the dangerous fibers to their home, putting their family members’ health at risk.

If you were ever employed at one of ConEd’s plants, you can contact us for professional legal advice from our Asbestos lawyers.
Here is a list of some of ConEd’s power plants:

Brooklyn-Manhattan TP
Active since 1937, the B-M Transit Powerhouse supplied power for  train and underground system of the city of New York. ConEd operated since 1950 up to 1990, when it was closed.

ConEd has been at odds with preservationists, the government, and environmentalists, in its quest to demolish the plant. Demolition, which has a potential of liberating a tremendous amounts of asbestos particles into the air, began in 2008. While some of the outer structure still remains, and the area has since been included in the register for Historic Places, ConEd has plans to proceed with the demolition.

East River Generating Station
Also located in New York, ConEd’s  East River Generating Station is a plant dedicated to the generation of steam, supplying power to the city.  This plant is today a clean, natural-gas powered facility.

Steam Station, East 74th Street
Another New York station, this power-generating steam station was included in the 1998 Federal Government lawsuit against Con Ed, which challenged ConEd’s improper asbestos removal practices, notably, regarding the removal of the East 74th St.station’s asbestos-insulated doors. .
Hellgate Station

In the heart of the Bronx, NY, this plant was an electricity distribution center for Manhattan. Following a deregulation agreement, ConEd was forced to reduce electricity costs and allow for competition for other companies.
Ravenswood Power Plant

Operating since 1965, this used to be NY’s biggest power plant. Following an asbestos-removal irregularity at the plant, the Federal Government sued ConEd in 1988. ConEd sold it in 1999, after public monopoly issues. Since 2008, Ravenswood is operated by TransCanada, supplying ¼ of New York’s energy requirements.                                             .

Waterside Generating Plant
When it opened in 1901, this was the largest power plant on the planet. It was bought by ConED from its original owners, and later operated by the company until demolition in 2006.
The plant was also includedIn in the 1988 Federal lawsuit against ConEd for asvestos-related violations.

Asbestos contamination at ConEd plants

Health risks

The connection between mesothelioma (an aggressive cancer), lung cancer, and a respiratory disease named asbestosis was exposed by the scientific community in the 1970s. At the time, thousands of cases surfaced, of people who had worked in asbestos-rich environments, and were suffering from all the above mentioned conditions.

The way asbestos affect health is the following: asbestos fibers are inhaled, later sticking to the lungs, to later develop cancer and asbestosis. Sadly, all of the diseases connected to asbestos involve a high death risk.

Brought on by asbestos exposure in almost 100% of the cases, MESOTHELIOMA is a type of cancer that forms in the lining of the lungs, in the majority of cases; but it can also develop in the heart and in the abdominal region.

ASBESTOSIS is a condition exclusive to asbestos exposure; it cannot be developed any other way. The way it works is with the formation of scar tissue building in the lungs, following asbestos inhalation. This is later the cause of diminished breathing capacity and circulatory problems.

Although there are other ways of developing LUNG CANCER, asbestos fibers can also cause it, especially in the case of smokers. It has been shown that a combination of asbestos exposure and smoking can raise the chances of contracting lung cancer by as much as 90%. Workers who continued to smoke due to their ignorance of this fact have been terribly affected by the industry´s failure to reveal the risks involved in asbestos exposure.

The reason it took so long to identify the causes of these asbestos-related conditions is that the damage caused by asbestos particles inside human organs is only apparent decades after the contamination occurs. In fact, people have been known to experience symptoms even as late as 50 years after exposure. These symptoms include shortness of breath, pain centered around the chest area, and a painful cough which may or may not contain blood.

If you were ever employed at any of ConEd’s facilities or any other similar plant, you have a high chance of having been dangerously exposed to asbestos. Even if you are not presenting any symptoms, as yet, you should consult your physician and get tested, in order to rule out the possibility of suffering from an asbestos-related disease, or prevent its development while it is still possible.
In America, 10,000 people die every year of an asbestos-related disease. Scientists predict that these numbers will keep rising over the next decade.

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