DuPont Chambers Works

The Carneys Point plant in Carneys Point, New Jersey was established in 1892 as a gunpowder plant. During World War I, the plant manufactured the majority of black gunpowder needed for war efforts. In 1917, the plant became known as Chambers Works, where they began to produce Freon, dye, polymers, and aromatic chemicals. The facility also served as a research site and chemical development center supporting the Manhattan Project during World War II. Gradually, the plant's manufacturing of dyes and explosives came to an end. By the 1980s, the plant's main focus was chemical manufacturing. Throughout the plant's history, over 1,200 chemicals have been created and manufactured at the facility. Today, DuPont Chambers Works has been in operation for over ninety years. The plant sits on a 1,455 acre complex, employing over 750 full-time workers and about 200 contract partners. The latter fact makes it the second-largest employer in the county. The Chambers Works plant supplies millions of dollars in payroll income, and it helps support the development of the surrounding communities. Chambers Works has a reputation for its innovations in technology, research, and manufacturing development. For example, in 1938, Teflon was invented by Roy Plunkett at the Jackson Laboratory. Also, the chemist Charles Pedersen was the first to discover crown ether molecules at the facility, leading to a Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1987. However, the age of this facility coupled with the nature of chemical research can lead to a number of safety issues. It is likely that these facilities utilized asbestos as a type of fire retardant. If inhaled, asbestos can reside in the lungs. This can lead to a number of ailments years and even decades later. Such ailments include mesothelioma and asbestosis. Today, standard government warnings and asbestos removal and encapsulating practices have been put into place. However, it is the former employees of chemical plants such as DuPont Chambers Works that may be at risk. References: About DuPont Chambers Works DuPont Chambers Works Site