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Carpenters were exposed to asbestos through virtually every material they handled from the early 1900s until approximately 1980. Even today, carpenters risk being exposed to significant levels of asbestos during demolitions and repairs of older structures. It’s likely that carpenters with mesothelioma were exposed on the job.

Carpenters are versatile woodworkers who generally work in the construction industry to build, fix, and install buildings and components, both indoors and outdoors, using a variety of tools. Carpentry work requires the use of adhesives, compounds, and other materials that contained asbestos until approximately 1980 for virtually every application from the rooftop to the floor.

Although the companies that manufactured and supplied asbestos products knew by 1930 that asbestos was harmful, they continued to manufacture and market the products without informing the public. The Lanier Law Firm is dedicated to helping carpenters with occupational asbestos exposure and their family members who experienced secondary exposure get justice against these companies that chose profits over safety.

How are carpenters exposed to asbestos?

The sources of carpenters’ asbestos exposure vary by the type of carpentry performed. According to Indeed, a career advice and job search service, carpenters generally specialize in the following, all of which may lead to asbestos exposure:

  • Rough carpentry
  • Joist carpentry
  • Trim carpentry
  • Ship carpentry
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Rough Carpentry

Rough carpenters plan and build structures, including houses, commercial buildings, sheds, and other structures. They provide the framework for the interior and exterior walls, roofs, and floors during building construction. They work with posts, rafters, and support beams. They also perform repairs and renovations of structures and may be present during demolition projects.  

Asbestos does not naturally occur in the wood itself. Carpenters are exposed to asbestos through the products used in conjunction with the wood, including the following:

  • Drywall mud 
  • Drywall tape
  • Sealants
  • Caulk
  • Paint 
  • Adhesives
  • Wallboard
  • Insulation
  • Spray insulation
  • Cement
  • Roofing felt

Rough carpentry usually takes place in settings where other construction work is performed. The construction industry in general is one of the most hazardous industries for asbestos exposure. 

Even today, rough carpenters may disturb asbestos when sanding, drilling, or cutting into materials during demolitions, repairs, and renovations.

Joist Carpentry

Joisters build and repair floor support beams. They may encounter asbestos through materials used to secure the beams or while performing flooring repairs, renovations, and demolitions. The following flooring products may contain asbestos, which could be released if these products are cut, sanded, drilled, or removed:

  • Asbestos floor tiles, especially cement floor tiles  
  • Flooring adhesives or other industrial glues
  • Insulation, especially spray insulation

Trim Carpentry

Trim carpenters install the finer details of interiors, such as cabinets, moldings, mantles, and cornices. They may have encountered asbestos while using adhesives, sealants, caulking, drywall tape, joint compound, and insulation. They may continue to encounter asbestos when drilling, cutting, or sanding these materials while repairing, removing, or upgrading these features.

Ship Carpentry

Ship carpenters are involved in nearly all aspects of shipbuilding, including the internal support structure and external trim carpentry, such as cabinetry and the hull. Asbestos is effective for waterproofing, lightweight, and non-corrosive, so it is useful throughout the ship. This makes shipbuilding one of the riskiest occupations for asbestos exposure.

Ship hulls were lined with asbestos. Asbestos was also used in adhesives, joint compound, sealants, insulation, and cement. Carpenters would have handled these materials directly. Airborne asbestos from the ship’s internal machinery, plumbing, and electrical wiring may also have been present. Asbestos was widely used in cement pipes, flanges, valves, gaskets, and boilers. 

Asbestos was used liberally in these components until 1980, but many of these ships are still in use today. The same materials were also used by military vessels in the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.

How does asbestos exposure affect carpenters?

A study published by the American Journal of Industrial Medicine found that carpenters experienced one of the highest rates of mesothelioma and asbestosis when compared to all occupations. Asbestos-related illnesses may develop decades after the first exposure to asbestos.

Who is liable for a carpenter’s asbestos

The wide array of asbestos-containing substances to which carpenters are exposed can be traced back to a multitude of asbestos product manufacturers, distributors, construction companies, and building owners, all of whom are liable, including the following companies: 

  • Able Supply Company
  • Ace Corporation
  • Akzo Nobel Paints LLC/The Glidden Company
  • Alcoa, Inc.
  • Austin Company
  • Conwed Corporation/Wood Conversion Company
  • DAP, Inc.
  • Daniel International
  • H.B. Fuller Company
  • H.H. Robertson
  • JM Manufacturing Company, Inc.
  • MAACO Adhesives
  • McMaster-Carr Supply Company
  • Murco Wall Products
  • Pfizer, Inc.
  • Sears, Roebuck & Company
  • Simpson Timber Company
  • TAMKO Roofing Products
  • The Dow Chemical Company
  • The Sherwin Williams Company
  • Thermwell Products
  • Union Carbide Corporation
  • Wilsonart International, Inc.
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If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness after working for these companies, or if you worked with products manufactured or supplied by these companies, you may be eligible to pursue significant damages through a mesothelioma lawsuit and an asbestos exposure workers’ compensation claim

If you were exposed to asbestos while serving as a carpenter in the U.S. military, you may be eligible to file a VA mesothelioma claim and a lawsuit against the companies that provided asbestos products to the military. Johns Manville was a major supplier of asbestos-containing products that carpenters would have handled in the military.

Asbestos Trust Fund Claims for Carpenters

If the company responsible for your asbestos exposure has filed for bankruptcy, you may be able to access compensation through the asbestos trust funds. Carpenters may have been exposed to asbestos by the following bankrupt companies with trust funds:

  • Armstrong World Industries
  • Bondex
  • Celotex
  • Congoleum
  • Flintkote
  • Johns Manville 
  • Kaiser Gypsum
  • Kentile Floors
  • National Gypsum Company
  • Owens Corning/Fibreboard
  • Pittsburgh Corning Corporation
  • Plant Insulation Company
  • Porter Hayden
  • Shook & Fletcher
  • State Insulation Corporation
  • Thorpe Insulation
  • United Gilsonite Laboratories
  • United States Gypsum
  • W.R. Grace
  • Western MacArthur/Western Asbestos

Why should I choose The Lanier Law Firm to handle my asbestos exposure case?

The Lanier Law Firm is one of the most experienced mesothelioma law firms in the world with more than 25 years of experience handling asbestos exposure claims. Mesothelioma cases require special knowledge and should only be handled by an experienced law firm. 

Our mesothelioma lawyers are passionate about helping carpenters get justice, and we know what it takes to get meaningful compensation for our clients. If you have a history of carpentry work, and you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, contact The Lanier Law Firm today for a free case evaluation.

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