GE Capacitators - Queensbury, New York: Overview

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:31 by admin
In the 1970s, when money was tight and people were looking for a few extra dollars, some Queensbury, New York residents raided local junkyards in search of electric capacitators dumped by General Electric Corp. The inside of these devices contained copper, which could be stripped and sold. Once the capacitators were broken apart, toxic PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) often leaked into the soil.

Thirty years later, residents of Queensbury are dealing with the toxic legacy left by these scavengers. Some residents have boils, blisters and other skin eruptions consistent with PCB exposure. Two local residents recently filed lawsuits against General Electric. Their lawyer anticipates that nearly 100 more suits will be filed for personal injury and property damage caused by PCBs.

GE manufactured the electric capacitators, used as surge protectors, at two nearby plants until 1977. GE denies any responsibility for the contamination. However, the lawyer representing local residents claims that GE is to blame for the current situation because the company concealed the danger of PCBs.

In the late 1970s, the State found elevated levels of PCBs in area soil. 13,000 cubic yards of the contaminated soil were subsequently removed. After the cleanup, health officials told residents the area was safe.

However, routine soil testing in 1999 revealed that the neighborhood was still contaminated.

Doctors concluded that many of the residents in Queensbury exhibit symptoms indicative of PCB exposure. Many people could also have been exposed to dibenzofuran, another highly toxic chemical that is a byproduct of heating PCBs. Many residents recall that the scavengers heated capacitators to allow easier removal of copper.

See your doctor if you live or work in Queensbury and have experienced serious health problems. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

See Also

  1. Specific Contaminated Sites
  2. Acne: Overview
  3. Anemia
  4. Birth Defects
  5. Cancer
  6. Ear, Nose, & Throat Disorders
  7. Kidney Failure
  8. Liver Problems
  9. Reproductive System: Overview
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