Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Ambler asbestos site under study by University of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania mines and product manufacturers have fueled the country's energy and consumer needs for generations. Many workers and their families have been exposed to dangerous conditions that have resulted in health deterioration, disease or death.

Asbestos exposure is a known contributor to cancer, particularly malignant mesothelioma. The village of Ambler outside Philadelphia was once the site of the BoRit plant, a company that specialized in products made of cancer-linked asbestos.

The factory was shuttered in the 1970s when strict federal laws regulating the use of asbestos were set in place. The toxic substance did not disappear with the plant's closing. Asbestos waste remains at the factory site and in dumping areas on the property.

The federal government took responsibility for cleaning up the waste when it declared BoRit a Superfund site.

People who have lived or still live in Ambler are the subjects of studies conducted by two University of Pennsylvania scholars. A professor began researching the effects of asbestos on Ambler residents half a dozen years ago. A college senior has been building on the professor's findings for the last two years.

Ambler studies include resident and ex-resident interviews and health records. The studies are significant now because symptoms of asbestos-related diseases often take decades to surface. Malignant mesothelioma rates are above average in the small suburban Philadelphia community.

Researchers have learned that Ambler's cancer cases increased the closer the victims lived to the factory site. Scientists now hope to delve into details about the intensity and spread of the disease. The Penn senior said she wants to find out whether asbestos-related cancer is more prevalent among former factory workers or people who live or lived near the plant's dumping sites.

Thousands of litigants have filed individual or class action lawsuits for asbestos health damages and related expenses. Specialized liability attorneys help diagnosed cancer and mesothelioma victims fight for compensation in asbestos exposure claims.

Source:, "Penn Student Studies Asbestos Risk in Philly-area Town" Pat Guth, Jun. 22, 2013

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