Starting in the mid to late 1950’s the use of “drywall” or “wall board” began to replace the old “lathe and plaster” construction of walls in both commercial and residential buildings. Drywall sheets, which are manufactured in several sizes (the most common being 4’ x 8’) are “hung” using nails or screws to attach the sheets to wooden 2” x 4” studs which make up the framing of the wall. Once drywall sheets are hung, “joint compounds” or “joint cements” are used to cover the nail or screw heads, as well as to cover the seams between the sheets of drywall.
Many joint compounds and joint cements contained asbestos as an ingredient until the late 1970’s. These materials are applied wet and are often referred to as “mud” by tradesmen because of their thickness and texture. Joint compounds and cements generally come in two forms; a dry powder that is mixed with water, and a pre-mixed version already in a wet state. Regardless of which product type is used, once the “mud” is applied and given time to dry, it requires sanding, prior to the next coat’s application. This process is repeated multiple times until the wall has a consistency acceptable for painting. During both the mixing process of asbestos of dry joint compound and the sanding process, dust and fibers are released into the air putting not only plasterers at risk for exposure, but others who also worked in the same vicinity.
The attorneys at Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC have gathered a vast amount of information regarding joint compound and cement products to which laborers were exposed. Our clients understand the importance of securing legal representation as soon as possible after a diagnosis of mesothelioma, lung cancer or other types asbestos-related diseases. If you or a loved one were once employed as a laborer by a union or construction company, and have been diagnosed with cancer or mesothelioma, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.
Common defendants in an asbestos-related drywall or joint compound case include: