Asbestos Companies and the Corporate Cover-Up

The history of asbestos use has left a legacy of illness in hundreds of thousands of American families. It has been called one of the largest human-made epidemics in U.S. history. For decades, the number of asbestos victims kept piling up as the epidemic unfolded in slow motion.

Sadly, the catastrophe could have been prevented — if companies hadn’t intentionally concealed the dangers of asbestos exposure.

If you or your loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you may be entitled to compensation from the company that exposed you to asbestos. Get a free consultation today to learn what your legal options may be.

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Video Summary: Learn more about all of the resources Simmons Hanly Conroy brings to the table for each case. View Transcript.

Michael Angelides (00:02):
When a victim of mesothelioma engages Simmons Hanly Conroy, they have an absolute army of people working on their case. We really have the resources to represent our clients essentially anywhere.

We've developed the greatest expert witnesses in the country, a team of medical staff, thousands of warehouses full of documents, and a legal team that has hundreds of years of experience — all of these resources marshaled together to help their case.

Legally Reviewed and Fact Checked by:
Nicholas J. Angelides, Shareholder, Simmons Hanly Conroy
Steel Workers

Asbestos Companies Knew the Risks

The industrialized asbestos industry began in the 1870s. By the turn of the century, European physicians began to notice breathing problems in exposed workers.

In 1898, British authorities published the first information about the hazards of asbestos exposure and the danger it posed to the workers’ health. The first American sources discussing the health risks to workers were published in 1918. By 1930, the United States Department of Labor requested the asbestos industry use exhaust systems and other safety methods.

Asbestosis was first identified in medical case reports in the 1920s, and the asbestos-cancer relationship was established by 1942. Reports of mesothelioma began to surface in medical literature at this time as well.

Yet, despite the warnings of medical professionals, a number of companies continued to manufacture, sell and design asbestos products — all while exposing workers to asbestos without providing them with adequate protective gear designed to prevent inhalation of the toxin’s fibers.

The Asbestos Cover-Up & Made-Up Safety Standards

In 1935, industry representatives from over 50 of the largest companies in the U.S. convened a “Symposium on Dust Problems at the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research.” These meetings set in motion an orchestrated effort to protect the industry and hide the dangers of asbestos and other toxic dust from workers.

This concerted action took the form of industry trade groups with names that gave the impression that their chief goal was to promote safety (e.g. The Industrial Hygiene Foundation and the National Safety Council) or that they were government sanctioned (e.g. American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists). In 1936, the Air Hygiene Foundation was formed by industry for the protection against occupational injury claims, and the organization was renamed the Industrial Hygiene Foundation in 1941.

Without any scientific foundation, the Industrial Hygiene Foundation and other industry-created trade groups created official standards out of thin air. The trade organizations and their members then lobbied governmental organizations to adopt these made-up standards.

Once these standards were adopted by governmental agencies, they were then held up as authoritative in defense of the resulting asbestos claims. The existence of a made-up standard served as proof of safety.

Asbestos Exposure Lawsuits & Manufactured Legal Defenses

As years went on, executives at asbestos manufacturing companies continued to cover up asbestos-related illnesses among their workers. Doctor’s notes, reports and memos detailing the dangers of asbestos were concealed from employees and the public.

Instead of preventing asbestos exposure or providing protective gear to employees, executives quietly offered small amounts of compensation to those dealing with health problems occurring on the job. These payments forced workers to keep quiet about the underlying cause of their illnesses.

Many of the first lawsuits involving asbestos victims were won by the manufacturers, who claimed they also didn’t understand the dangers and risks involved.

As additional evidence, these companies pointed to the “safety” standards they had made up and lobbied the government to adopt. But that only worked for so long.

lawyer working on a case

The Sumner Simpson Papers

In 1977, the elaborate cover-up was exposed when attorneys representing asbestos victims uncovered 6,000 pages of documents called the Sumner Simpson papers, which revealed the decades-long cover-up perpetrated by industry executives.

The concerted action that exposed these innocent workers, service members and their families to the dangers of asbestos exposure finally came to light. It was the beginning of the end for the industry’s lengthy cover-up.

Since then thousands of victims of asbestos-related diseases and their families have used the court system to secure justice and hold asbestos companies accountable.

The eventual exposure of the sophisticated corporate cover-up led to an increase in mesothelioma and asbestos lawsuits. These lawsuits provide justice to the innocent victims of deadly asbestos-related diseases who suffer as a result of the companies’ greed and negligence.

Learn About Mesothelioma & Asbestos Lawsuits

Companies Known for Asbestos Exposure Lawsuits

From the Industrial Revolution through the 1980s, many companies used asbestos in manufacturing without significant regulation. As a result, many people encountered the substance at their workplace.

If you believe you have been exposed to asbestos through your work, browse our partial list below of companies known to be linked to asbestos exposure. If you have worked at one of these asbestos companies in the past, you should tell your doctor you may have been exposed to asbestos.

If you have suffered from mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease due to the negligence of an employer or manufacturer, you may be entitled to compensation through an asbestos exposure lawsuit.

Learn more about filing a lawsuit by scheduling a free consultation with one of our mesothelioma lawyers.

 

List of Asbestos Companies

Is your company on the list? View a partial list of companies that used asbestos below. These companies may have sold asbestos, manufactured products containing asbestos, or designed products that required the use of asbestos.

Don’t see your company? You may still be entitled to financial compensation.

Contact Us Today >

  • A
    • A.H. Bennett Company
    • A.O. Smith
    • A.W. Chesterton Company
    • ABB Inc.
    • Abbott Laboratories
    • AECOM Energy & Construction, Inc.FORMERLY KNOWN AS: Catalytic, United Engineers & Constructors, Raytheon Engineers, Stearns-Roger, Inc.
    • Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings
    • AII Acquisition LLC
    • Air & Liquid Systems CorporationFORMERLY KNOWN AS: Buffalo Pumps
    • Ajax Magnethermic Corporation
    • AK Steel Corporation
    • Alcatel-Lucent Usa Inc.FORMERLY KNOWN AS: Western Electric
    • Allied Manufacturing Company
    • Amcord Inc.
    • Ameren Illinois CompanyFORMERLY KNOWN AS: Central Illinois Public Service Company, Central Illinois Light Company, Illinois Power
    • Ameren Missouri CompanyFORMERLY KNOWN AS: Union Electric Company
    • American Art Clay Company Inc.
    • American Cyanamid Company
    • American Export Lines, FarrellFORMERLY KNOWN AS: Farrell Lines
    • American Honda Motor Co. Inc.
    • American Optical Corporation
    • American President Lines Ltd
    • Ameron International Corporation
    • Anco Insulations Inc.
    • Anheuser-Busch Llc
    • Apex Oil Company, Inc.FORMERLY KNOWN AS: Clark Oil
    • ArcelorMittal USA
    • Archer-Daniels-Midland Company
    • Armstrong International Inc.
    • ArvinMeritor, Inc.FORMERLY KNOWN AS: Rockwell
    • Atlantic Richfield Company
    • AT&T Corp.FORMERLY KNOWN AS: Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, NYNEX, Pacific Telesis, Southwestern Bell, U.S. West
    • Aurora Pump Company
  • B
    • Baltimore Aircoil Company Inc.
    • BASF Corporation
    • Bayer Corporation
    • Beazer East IncFORMERLY KNOWN AS: Koppers, Universal Refractories
    • Bechtel Corporation
    • Blackmer Pump Company
    • BNSF Railway Company
    • Boeing CompanyFORMERLY KNOWN AS: McDonnell Douglas
    • Boise Cascade Company
    • Bondex International Inc.
    • Borg-Warner Corporation
    • Bostik, Inc.FORMERLY KNOWN AS: Upco
    • BP Amoco Chemical Company
    • BP Corporation North America
    • Brake Parts Inc. Llc
    • Brand Insulations, Inc.
    • BridgestoneFORMERLY KNOWN AS: Firestone
    • Briggs & Stratton Corporation
    • Bryan Steam Llc
    • Burnham LLC
    • BW/IP Inc.FORMERLY KNOWN AS: Byron Jackson
    • BWDAC Inc.
  • C
    • Calaveras Asbestos Ltd.
    • Calportland Company
    • Carlisle Industrial Brake & Friction
    • Carrier Corporation
    • Caterpillar Inc.
    • CBS CorporationFORMERLY KNOWN AS: Westinghouse Electric
    • Central Electric Power Cooperative
    • Certain-Teed Corporation
    • Champaign A & K Insulation Com
    • Chevron Phillips Chemical Comp
    • Chevron U.S.A. Inc.
    • Chicago Bridge & Iron Company
    • Cintas Corporate Services, Inc
    • Cirrus Enterprises Llc
    • Clark Industrial Insulation Co
    • Cleaver-Brooks, Inc.
    • Colgate-Palmolive Company
    • Commonwealth Edison Company
    • Conocophillips Company
    • Consolidated Edison Company
    • Conwed Corporation
    • Copes Vulcan Inc.
    • Crane Co.
    • Crown Cork & Seal Company, IncFORMERLY KNOWN AS: Mundet Cork
    • CSR, Ltd.FORMERLY KNOWN AS: Colonial Sugar & Refining
    • Cummins Inc.
  • D
    • Daimler Trucks North AmericaFORMERLY KNOWN AS: Freightliner
    • Dana Companies LLC
    • Dap Inc.
    • Deere & Company
    • Dexter Hysol Aerospace LLC
    • Dezurik, Inc.
    • Drilling Specialties Company
  • E
    • E.I. Du Pont De Nemours And Co
    • Eaton CorporationFORMERLY KNOWN AS: Cutler Hammer
    • Eclipse Inc.
    • Edward Orton, Jr Ceramic Found
    • Electric Boat Corporation
    • Elliott Company
    • Entergy Louisiana, Llc
    • Exxon Mobil Corporation
  • F
    • Familian Corporation
    • Farrell Lines Incorporated
    • Fisher Scientific Company
    • Flowserve CorporationFORMERLY KNOWN AS: Duriron Company, Inc., Durametallic, Durco International
    • Flowserve US Inc.FORMERLY KNOWN AS: Edward Valve and Manufacturing Co., Rockwell Manufacturing Company, Merco-Nordstrom Valves Co.
    • Fluor Corporation
    • FMC Corporation
    • Ford Motor Company
    • Foseco Inc.
    • Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation
  • G
    • Gardner Denver, Inc.
    • General Electric Company
    • General Motors Corporation
    • Genuine Parts CompanyFORMERLY KNOWN AS: NAPA
    • Georgia-Pacific LLC
    • Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
    • Gorman-Rupp Company
    • Gould Electronics Inc.
    • Goulds Pump, Incorporated
    • Graybar Electric Company Inc.
    • Greene Tweed & Co. Inc.
    • Grinnell LLC
  • H
    • Heidelberg USA, Inc.FORMERLY KNOWN AS: Linotype
    • Hennessy Industries Inc.FORMERLY KNOWN AS: Ammco Tools
    • Hercules, LLCFORMERLY KNOWN AS: Haveg Industries
    • Hexcel Corporation
    • Highland Stucco And Lime Products
    • Hill Brothers Chemical Company
    • Holland America Line – Usa Inc
    • Honeywell International Inc.FORMERLY KNOWN AS: Bendix, Allied Signal, Allied Chemical
    • Hopeman Brothers, Inc.
  • I
    • Illinois Central Railroad Comp
    • Imo Industries Inc.FORMERLY KNOWN AS: Delaval
    • Industrial Holdings Corporation
    • Ingersoll-Rand Company
    • International Business MachineFORMERLY KNOWN AS: IBM
    • International Paper Company
    • Iowa-Illinois Taylor Insulation
    • IPA Systems, Inc.
    • ITT CorporationFORMERLY KNOWN AS: Bell & Gossett
  • J
    • J-M Manufacturing Company, Inc
    • J.T. Thorpe & Son Inc.
    • Jenkins Bros.
    • Johnson Controls, Inc.
    • Johnson & Johnson
  • K
    • Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc.
    • Kansas City Power & Light Company
    • KCG Inc.
    • Kelly Moore Paint Company Inc.
    • Kelsey-Hayes Company
    • Kerr Corporation
    • Kohler Company
    • Kraft Foods Global Inc.
  • L
    • Lennox Industries Inc.
    • Lindberg
    • Lorillard Tobacco Corporation
    • Luse-Stevenson Co.
  • M
    • Mack Trucks Inc.
    • Maersk Inc.
    • Marathon Oil Company
    • Maremont Corporation
    • Materion Brush Inc.FORMERLY KNOWN AS: Brush Wellman
    • McKesson Corporation
    • McNeil (Ohio) Corporation
    • Metalclad Insulation LLC
    • Metropolitan Life Insurance Co
    • Milwaukee Valve Company Inc.
    • Monsanto Company
    • MS2G, IncFORMERLY KNOWN AS: Marden Susco
    • MW Custom Papers LLCFORMERLY KNOWN AS: Mead Paper
  • N
    • Nash Engineering Company
    • Navistar Inc.FORMERLY KNOWN AS: International Harvester
    • Nissan North America, Inc.
    • NL Industries Inc.FORMERLY KNOWN AS: National Lead
    • Nooter Corporation
  • O
    • Occidental Chemical Corporation
    • Occidental Petroleum Corporation
    • Olin Corporation
    • Orton Edward Jr Ceramic Foundation
    • Owens-Illinois Inc.
  • P
    • Parex USAFORMERLY KNOWN AS: La Habra
    • Patterson Dental Supply Inc.
    • Paul J. Krez Company
    • Peco Energy Corporation
    • Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack O
    • Pfizer Inc.
    • Plastics Engineering Company
    • Pneumo Abex LLCFORMERLY KNOWN AS: American Brakeblok
    • Port Authority Of New York And New Jersey
    • Premix-Marbletite Manufacturing
  • R
    • Rheem Manufacturing Company
    • Riley Stoker Corporation
    • Rockwell Automation Inc.FORMERLY KNOWN AS: Allen Bradley
    • Rogers Corporation
    • Rust Engineering & Construction
  • S
    • Salem Furnace Company
    • Santa Fe Braun Inc.
    • Schneider Electric (USA), Inc.FORMERLY KNOWN AS: Square D
    • Sears Roebuck & Company
    • Shell Oil Company
    • Sherwin-Williams Company
    • Simpson Timber Company
    • Slakey Brothers Inc.
    • Special Electric Company Inc.
    • Spirax Sarco, Inc.
    • Sprinkmann Sons Corporation
    • SPX Cooling Technologies Inc.FORMERLY KNOWN AS: Marley
    • Standard Motor Products
    • Sunoco Inc. (R&M)FORMERLY KNOWN AS: Sun Oil
    • Supro Corporation
  • T
    • Tecumseh Products Company
    • Texaco Inc.
    • Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.
    • Trane U.S. Inc.
    • Triangle Enterprises, Inc.
    • Turner Industries Group Llc
  • U
    • Unilever Inc.FORMERLY KNOWN AS: Lever Bros.
    • Union Carbide Corporation
    • Union Oil Company Of California
    • Union Pacific Railroad Company
    • United States Steel Corporation
    • United Technologies CorporationFORMERLY KNOWN AS: Pratt & Whitney
  • V
    • Vanderbilt Minerals LLCFORMERLY KNOWN AS: RT Vanderbilt
    • Velan Valve Corporation
    • VerizonFORMERLY KNOWN AS: GTE
    • VWR International Inc.
  • W
    • Warren Pumps LLC
    • Weil-McLain Inc.
    • Weir Valves & Controls USA
    • Welco Manufacturing Company
    • Western Auto Supply Company
    • Western Nevada Supply Co.
    • Weyerhaeuser Company
    • Whip-Mix Corporation
    • William Powell Company
    • Wyeth Holdings Corporation
  • Y
    • York International Corporation
  • Z
    • Zurn Industries LLC
  • #
    • 3M Company
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Asbestos Companies in Bankruptcy

During the 20th century, many asbestos companies couldn’t afford to pay all of the asbestos lawsuits filed against them, leading the company to declare bankruptcy instead. In response to this, however, bankruptcy courts ordered these asbestos manufacturers to establish bankruptcy asbestos trust funds to pay current and future asbestos claims.

Today, more than 100 companies have established their own asbestos bankruptcy trusts. Estimates suggest there’s over $30 billion set aside in these trust funds for asbestos victims and their families.

Don’t see your company on the list? These are only a few of the companies that declared bankruptcy and set aside funds in asbestos trusts. Contact us today to see if you may be able to file an asbestos claim.

List of Bankrupt Asbestos Companies

A few of the asbestos companies that declared bankruptcy and established asbestos trust funds include:

  • Armstrong World Industries
  • Babcock & Wilcox
  • DII Industries
  • Federal Mogul Corp.
  • Flexitallic
  • Johns-Manville Corporation
  • National Gypsum
  • Owens Corning Fibreboard
  • Pittsburgh Corning Corp. (PCC)
  • Turner & Newall
  • United States Gypsum (USG)
  • Western Asbestos Company
  • W.R. Grace

Common Products Containing Asbestos

Asbestos is a natural fiber known for its strength, flexibility, and ability to resist heat and water. For nearly 100 years, asbestos was widely used in thousands of everyday products involved in the construction of homes, ships, automobiles and more.

Some of these common asbestos-containing products include:

  • Acoustical panels and plaster
  • Asbestos cement pipe
  • Bakelite and heat-resistant plastics
  • Boilers
  • Brakes
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Clutches
  • Corrugated sheets and paper
  • Drilling mud and additive
  • Fireclad and fireguard asbestos paper
  • Fire-resistant asbestos insulation shields, blankets and cement
  • Floor tiles
  • Furnaces
  • Gaskets
  • Joint compound, textures and popcorn ceilings
  • Packing material
  • Paints, paper and plasters
  • Patching fiber and plaster
  • Pipe covering and insulation
  • Pumps
  • Roofing felt, paper and tiles
  • Sheet packing and rope
  • Siding
  • Valves

The above list of asbestos products is not exhaustive. There are many more known products that contain asbestos.

If you don’t know the asbestos products you were exposed to, your legal team can help you determine that as well. Get a free legal consultation today to learn more.

Occupations Commonly Affected by Asbestos Exposure

Due to the wide use of asbestos in industrial materials, asbestos companies exposed workers from a wide range of industries and trades. More than 75 occupational groups have exposed employees to asbestos at the workplace.

Currently, an estimated 1.3 million U.S. workers, many in the trades, are at risk of asbestos exposure, which has serious consequences like mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Occupations with a high-risk of asbestos exposure include:

  • Bricklayers
  • Carpenters
  • Coal miners
  • Construction workers
  • Electricians
  • Firefighters
  • Insulators
  • Laborers
  • Machinists
  • Mechanics
  • Military service members and veterans
  • Pipefitters
  • Plumbers
  • Railroad workers
  • Shipbuilders and ship scrappers
  • Steelworkers
  • Tile setters

Remember: These are only some of the roles at greater risk of asbestos exposure. Many additional occupations have exposed employees to asbestos.

Occupational asbestos exposure doesn’t just affect those on the job — you can bring these dangerous asbestos fibers home with you on your clothes, putting your loved ones at risk of exposure in the process.

If you or your loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you may be able to pursue financial compensation through an asbestos lawsuit. Learn more about your legal options with a free case review today.

Asbestos Company FAQs

Could I have been exposed to asbestos by a company not on this list?

Absolutely — the above list of asbestos manufacturers is not exhaustive. If you or your loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, your legal team will work with you to determine:

  • When your asbestos exposure occurred
  • What asbestos-containing products you were exposed to
  • Which company (or companies) were responsible

My company has exposed me to asbestos — what should I do?

Because of the microscopic nature of its fibers, asbestos poses a serious threat to the health of those who inhale the material. However, there is a 10-to-50-year latency period between the time you were first exposed to asbestos and the development of any noticeable symptoms.

Talk with your doctor about the possible risks, especially if you develop the following symptoms, which could be signs of mesothelioma or an asbestos-related disease:

  • A persistent cough
  • Weight loss
  • Shortness of breath

If you’ve been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease as a result of workplace exposure, you may be entitled to financial compensation. When you work with Simmons Hanly Conroy, your experienced legal team will handle every step of the asbestos lawsuit process on your behalf.

What kinds of products contain asbestos?

The durable nature of asbestos made it popular for use in building materials in homes, ships and automobiles for most of the 20th century. Some of these construction products include insulation, roof shingles, pipe wrapping and plaster. Still, there are many other products that contain asbestos you may have been exposed to.

Is asbestos still manufactured?

Yes — despite the known health risks of asbestos, there are still companies that manufacture asbestos-containing products.

Although asbestos is not banned in the United States, asbestos litigation filed by union workers, veterans and other workers has helped to raise awareness of the health hazards and dangers of asbestos exposure.

What countries have not banned asbestos?

More than 70 countries across the world have banned the use of asbestos. Unfortunately, that doesn’t include some of the world’s largest economic figures like the United States, China, India, Russia and many more.

What diseases can be caused by exposure to asbestos?

Asbestos exposure has been linked to multiple different diseases and illnesses. The most commonly recognized asbestos-related diseases include:

  • Mesothelioma: A rare cancer that most often occurs in the thin membrane lining of the lungs, chest or abdomen
  • Lung Cancer: Responsible for the largest number of asbestos-related deaths, lung cancer can develop when a person has been exposed to a carcinogen like asbestos
  • Asbestosis: A serious, non-cancerous respiratory disease caused by inhaled asbestos fibers becoming lodged in the lungs
  • Pleural Plaque: The most common indicator of asbestos exposure; nearly half of those exposed develop these calcified plaques in the lungs

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you may be entitled to compensation from the company responsible for exposing you to asbestos. Get a free legal consultation today to learn more about your legal options.

Simmons Support Team
Legal Reviewer Nick AngelidesReviewed by:Nicholas J. Angelides

Shareholder, Simmons Hanly Conroy

  • Fact-Checked
  • Legal Reviewer

Attorney Nick Angelides is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy. He joined the firm in 2003, and currently helps direct the legal strategy for all of the firm’s asbestos and mesothelioma cases. Nick has nearly 15 years of litigation experience and has handled asbestos cases throughout the country, recovering hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of individuals and families impacted by asbestos-related diseases.