What is Joint Compound? Why Does it Contain Asbestos?
Joint compound â€” known amongst tradesmen as mud â€” is used by general contractors, carpenters, drywall installers, builders and even homeowners whoâ€™ve perform their own home renovations. Joint compound has a paste consistency and itâ€™s used to conceal the gap or joint where two pieces of drywall meet. It is also used to conceal the screw holes, cracks and other flaws, ensuring the wall has a smooth, even surface.
Asbestos is a mineral thatâ€™s favored for its heat resistance and its chemical resistance (more info here). For many years, asbestos was added into joint compound for its ability to thicken the joint compound without changing its properties, while also providing the mix with added resistance to flame, moisture and Â even insects. Asbestos joint compound was also favored for its smooth consistency, which required less sanding and smoothing after application.
Asbestos particles are dangerous when the small mineral fibers become airborne. If inhaled or ingested, the asbestos can become embedded in tissues, causing permanent scarring and damage that may ultimately lead to cancerous cell growth.
Asbestos in joint compound could become airborne and pose a danger in a few different ways. Firstly, the fine asbestos particles could be inhaled by staff at the factory where the product was manufactured.
Joint compound asbestos could also be inhaled when dry joint compound is mixed with water to forma paste at the job site. The fine asbestos particles can become airborne while the contents of the bag is poured into a mixing bucket or similar.
Once the paste-like joint compound dries, it also requires sanding to create a perfectly smooth surface which can then be painted. The sanding process may cause some of those joint compound asbestos particles to become airborne, at which time they may pose a danger to the worker or bystanders in the event the asbestos is inhaled or ingested.
Who Was Exposed to Joint Compound Asbestos?
Virtually anyone who works as a building contractor could be sickened by asbestos in joint compound, including, but not limited to:
- drywall installers;
- drywall tapers;
- general contractors;
- interior painters;
- construction apprentices;
- anyone mixing dry mix joint compound;
- tradesmen working in the immediate vicinity of asbestos-tainted joint compound;
- anyone sanding dry mix or ready mix joint compound;
- homeowners performing remodeling, renovations or repairs;
- workers at joint compound manufacturing plants;
- truck drivers who transported dry joint compound mix with asbestos;
- employees of hardware stores that sold asbestos joint compound; and
- workers at mines that supplied asbestos to joint compound manufacturers.
These are just a few of the many individuals who may have been exposed to joint compound withasbestos. While just a single asbestos exposure can cause cancer or illness, individuals who we re repeatedly exposed are at an even higher risk of developing mesothelioma or another disease.
In addition, asbestos in joint compound can also impact family members and any others who are indirect contact with individuals whoâ€™ve been directly exposed because the fine dust can easily cling to clothing, hair and belongings.
Also at risk of asbestos exposure is anyone performing tear-downs and demolition work involving a home or other structure that was built in the period between World War II and the early 1980s.
Once inhaled or ingested, it can take decades for an individual to exhibit symptoms of an asbestos disease or illness. Asbestos exposure from joint compound can lead to many different diseases and illnesses, including asbestosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), mesothelioma and other forms of cancer.
Brands of Asbestos Joint Compound
There were many different brands of joint compound with asbestos as an ingredient, sold up through the late 1970s or even the early 1980s.
Some of these asbestos joint compound brands include:
- Bondex Joint Compound;
- CertainTeed Joint Compound;
- FlintKote Joint Compound;
- Georgia-Pacific Joint Compound;
- Kaiser Gypsum Joint Compound;
- Kelly-Moore Joint Compound;
- National Gypsum Joint Compound;
- Synkoloid Joint Compound; and
- United States Gypsum Durabond Joint Compound, among others.
Joint Compound and Asbestos Trust Funds
A number of companies that were involved in the manufacturing of asbestos joint compound have established trust funds for asbestos exposure victims, including those who developed mesothelioma or another serious asbestos disease.
Among the many companies that have established asbestos trust funds are asbestos joint compound manufacturers Georgia-Pacific, Kaiser, and the United States Gypsum Corporation (USG).
In addition to asbestos trust funds, which provide mesothelioma victims and other asbestos disease sufferers with an opportunity to obtain an asbestos settlement without filing a lawsuit, there are a number of other resources available. These resources include expedited Social Security Benefits, studies and clinical trials and mesothelioma lawsuits for those who wish to pursue this avenue.
In order to obtain an asbestos or mesothelioma settlement â€” whether itâ€™s from a trust fund or via a mesothelioma lawsuit, itâ€™s essential to provide sufficient evidence and documentation to prove that the individual was exposed in a particular setting. This can be a challenge since asbestos diseases like mesothelioma often arise 20, 30 or even 40+ years after the initial exposure. This is where it can be helpful to have an experienced mesothelioma lawyer working hard on your side.
An experienced asbestos attorney or mesothelioma lawyer will work to help you gather the appropriate evidence and documentation, while presenting your information in a concise, compelling manner so asto maximize your chances of receiving the asbestos settlement that you deserve.
With only 40% of mesothelioma patients surviving more than 12 months post-diagnosis, itâ€™s important to take action quickly. The law also limits how long you have to take action and file a mesothelioma or asbestos claim.
So if you or a loved one were exposed to asbestos joint compound, contact Mesowatch today to learn more about moving forward with your options here https://mesowatch.com/asbestos-exposure-overview/Â Theyâ€™re committed to providing you with the information and legal resources you need to get the compensation and legal justice you deserve.Obtain a free and confidential legal consultation today.