Monsanto Chemical Company
In 1929, Monsanto purchased an island stretching approximately thirty acres located on the Mystic River in Everett, Massachusetts (Johnston, 2010). These thirty acres were formerly a small portion of Merrimac Chemical Company‟s empire. Monsanto Chemical Company was, at this time, the largest chemical manufacturer in the nation. This land in Everett was one of Monsanto‟s largest chemical plants in the U.S., early in the company‟s history. While in the hands of Monsanto, the island was used to produce plasticizer, sulfuric acid, and polyvinyl butyral, as well as to store acids, aluminum, and dyes (O‟Reilly et al. 1995; Johnston 2010). Monsanto also produced pentachlorophenol (PCP). Genealogist Jim Denning reports that the safe levels of PCP levels in the air were approximately 0.000072 parts per billion (ppb) prior to 1940. In Everett, Monsanto’s level of PCP exceeded 2.0 ppb.
Additional Contaminant Sources
At various times, Cochrane, Merrimac, and Monsanto Chemical companies owned the land comprising the East and West Side parcels. Nevertheless, these parties were not the only ones responsible for the atrocious
condition along the Mystic River. The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) also had, and continues to have today, though in a lesser degree, a presence in close proximity to the East and West Side parcels. The original Everett Station was near the Mystic River. Everett Station was the beginning of the orange line, prior to the construction of Oak Grove, Malden, and Wellington stations. In addition, an MBTA bus garage and maintenance facility is also located off of Alford Street/Route 99. It has been reported and is certainly true that MBTA property (soil, groundwater, air)was contaminated as a result of the pollution brought on by the area chemical companies. However, while the chemical companies are responsible for the majority of the contamination on the East and West Side parcels and much of the Mystic River, the MBTA holds responsibility as well. During our visit to the East Side parcel, we learned from Officer Patrick Johnson that the MBTA would discard unwanted,
broken down subway motorcars and buses by dumping them into the Mystic River when the tide was low. The parts would be set ablaze and left to wash away and disintegrate over time.
Everett is a city in Middlesex County, just north of Boston. Incorporated in 1870 as a town, and again in 1892 as a city, Everett has a landmass of slightly less than 3.5 square miles and a population of just over 38,000 people. Everett is governed by a mayor and a city council consisting of a Board of Alderman and a Common Council, making it the only city in the country with a bicameral legislature.
Early 19th-century Everett was primarily an agricultural community. Farms and fruit orchards provided produce for local use and sale in Boston and neighboring communities. Timber, brick, and rope for construction were all made locally. By 1870, the Eastern and Grand Junction Railroad served as a vital link for commerce and transportation. Though small, Everett’s substantial water access along the Island End and Mystic Rivers proved attractive to heavy industry. Chemical plants, oil refineries and power plants occupied much of the city’s riverfront areas. Companies such New England Coke Works, Colonial Beacon Oil Company, and the James A. Cochrane Chemical Company established a foundation for later companies such as Humble Oil and Refining Company and Monsanto Chemical Company. Ancillary companies such as the Dampney Company, founded in 1917 to produce specialty anti-corrosion coatings for boilers and turbines, also sprang up. The early decades of the 20th century saw some stagnation of industry, due to labor disputes and economic depression. However, the approach of World War II saw a return to productivity. In 1939, General Electric established a plant in Everett, and by 1943 was operating on a 24-hour basis in aid of the war effort. The H.K. Porter Company opened its plant in 1942. In 1943, the first unit of Boston Edison Company’s Mystic Station power generation plant came online. Much of the economic growth of this period lasted well into the second half of the 20th century.
Asbestos exposure has been a problem in Everett over the years, due to the city’s high population-density and tradition of heavy industry. If you or a loved one have been exposed to asbestos, you may be at risk for asbestos lung cancer or other illnesses. Mesothelioma clinics in and around Everett are listed at the bottom of this page.
Large Jobsites in Everett where Asbestos Exposure Occurred
The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance has compiled information obtained from a number of sources to identify the following large job sites in Everett where asbestos exposure was known to have occurred. These sites are listed below. Click on them to get more detailed information.
Sithe Mystic Station Power Plant
Other Jobsites in Everett where Asbestos Exposure Occurred
These additional jobsites in Everett, Massachusetts have been identified as harboring asbestos containing materials. These sites, at one point in their history, were known to have exposed a variety of tradesmen to asbestos. We will be documenting in more detail how asbestos exposure occurred at these sites in the future on this web site.
Avco Research Lab
Boston Consolidated Gas Company
Boston Edison Company
Boston Elevated Railway Company
Boston Gas Company
Boston Market Terminal Company
Cochrane Chemical Company
Esso Standard Oil Company
General Electric Company
Humble Oil Refining Company
Koppers Company, Inc.
Merrimac Chemical Company
Monsanto Chemical Company
Morehaven Sugar Growers Cooperative
Mystic River Powerhouse
National Coal Tar Company
New England Gas and Coke Company
Pump Equipment & Engineering Company
Shahmoon Industries Inc
Shannon Oil Burner Service
Standard Oil Company of New Jersey