Spread over 1,300 acres, the Eastman Kodak Company was the economic backbone of Rochester, New York, and its surrounding communities. With 200 buildings, factories, powerhouses and underground laboratories, the Eastman Kodak Company provided local residents with stable employment for numerous decades. Individuals representing a variety of trades and skill, called Eastman Kodak Company home, including engineers, scientists, laborers, millwrights, boiler-tenders, carpenters, pipe-fitters, operators, and assemblers. Unfortunately, history has shown that former employees of the Eastman Kodak Company were regularly exposed to asbestos-containing materials during their work shifts.

The Eastman Kodak Company, and the companies that supplied the Rochester campus with asbestos products, were aware of the dangers facing Kodak employees from exposure to asbestos dust. Choosing profit over the health and safety of Eastman Kodak employees, these companies manufactured and delivered products that required workers to regularly handle or replace asbestos components. Since at least the 1930’s, the medical field began raising concerns over industrial employee exposure to dust. Ignoring these warnings, companies continued to sell products to work sites like Kodak, without providing adequate warnings to workers.

At Kodak, numerous products were manufactured, including film, paper, chemicals, cameras and other technical equipment. Often overlooked is the fact that manufacturing Eastman Kodak products required equipment incorporating asbestos-containing materials. Employees involved in both the production units and the maintenance gangs used products containing asbestos, like gaskets, packing, cement, block and blankets, as well as defective respirators. Additionally, nearly every employee was at danger of exposure to commonly used building materials, including pipe covering, joint compound, and floor tiles.

Powerhouse Exposure at Eastman Kodak

Employees of the Eastman Kodak Company, as well as independent contractors and other visitors were regularly exposed to asbestos at the Kodak Powerhouse. Much of the equipment found in the powerhouse, including boilers, pumps, valves, motors, and generators required the use of asbestos packing and gaskets to operate properly. Additionally, some of this equipment was internally and externally insulated with asbestos blankets and raw insulation. Workers at the Kodak powerhouse regularly installed and removed asbestos gaskets and packing from this equipment as part of their job responsibilities. Numerous trades, including boiler-tenders, pipe-fitters, carpenters, laborers, and plumbers worked in close proximity to each other, as these asbestos products were installed, removed and manipulated.

Line Assembly Asbestos Exposure

Even as technology progressed, Kodak relied on workers to assemble various products. Assemblers, machine operators and other employees regularly worked in tight spaces, putting together various Kodak products. Numerous Eastman Kodak buildings were heavily insulated with asbestos. Also, due to the ever-expanding nature of Kodak’s operations, hundreds of employees were present over several decades as buildings were constructed, enlarged and repaired. Asbestos products, including wallboard, joint compound, cement, and floor tiles were installed, removed and repaired during this time. Because of the rapidly expanding environment, and the frequent need to repair heavily used areas of Kodak buildings, workers were regularly exposed to asbestos dust from products installed by various trades.

Family Members of Workers at Eastman Kodak

Employees and contractors of Eastman Kodak were regularly exposed to asbestos. In certain situations, an employee may have “taken” his asbestos home to his household. Known as the “take home exposure” theory, courts across the country have consistently acknowledged that manufacturers and suppliers of asbestos are legally responsible for asbestos exposures that are brought home from contaminated work clothing. Workers who performed the backbreaking work which reaped Eastman Kodak vast profits were inadvertently taking asbestos fibers back to their household through their soiled work clothes. Other family members, unaware of the danger of asbestos fibers, may have laundered these clothes, thus exposing them to asbestos as well. Attorneys at LK have a strong track record in proving take home exposure.

LK attorneys are skilled in investigating and identifying asbestos exposure at industrial work sites like Eastman Kodak. Our thorough case investigations allow an attorney and investigator to work with you or your loved one to identify traditional and discrete sources of asbestos exposure that you may have suffered at the Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester.



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