Armstrong World Industries got its start in 1860, when company founder Thomas M. Armstrong and his partner John D. Glass opened a store that sold hand carved wine bottle corks in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1909 the company introduced what soon became known as one of their flagship products, linoleum flooring and then further expanded to include insulation materials and ceiling products. Armstrong continued to thrive and in merging with other companies eventually became a global entity.
Products Manufactured by Armstrong World Industries that Contained Asbestos
As the product lines from Armstrong grew, so did the type of materials used to create the items the company sold. One material that became a key component for many of their products was a popular fireproofing material called asbestos. The substance was commonly used by manufacturers all across the country for years due to its heat, fire and chemical resistance properties, but was eventually found to be toxic in nature.
Armstrong World Industries manufactured asbestos containing products from 1909 through April 1987. The primary product categories included resilient floor tile, lining felt and backing for sheet vinyl, acoustic cement, gasketing material, decorative wall treatment, thermal system insulation material, fire resistant adhesive for cork and asphalt “cutback” floor tile adhesive. Provided below is a list of Armstrong products along with the years they were manufactured.
|Armstrong Excelon Vinyl Asbestos Floor Tile||1954-1980|
|Armstrong Accopac Asbestos Paper||1930’s|
|Armstrong Accobest Gasketing Material||1963-1967|
|Armstrong Sprayed Limpet||1958-1974|
|Armstrong Heavy-Duty FRJ Insulation Jacket|
|Armstrong Armaspray 16 Spray-on Insulation|
|Armstrong Armatemp Cement No. 10||1961-1972|
|314 Acoustic Cement||1945-1953|
|Nonpareil High Pressure Cement||1909-1932|
|CC Navy Sealer||1942-1962|
|Armstrong Asphalt Tile||1931-1972|
|Armstrong Rubber Tile||1955-1956|
|LT – Cork Covering||1956-1959|
|Hydrocord Flooring Felt||1955-1963|
|Nonpareil High Pressure Covering Block||1909-1932|
Industries and Occupations Where Asbestos Exposure May Have Occurred
The use of Armstrong World Industries products was widespread in residential, commercial, industrial and military settings. The industries where occupational asbestos exposure was most likely to occur include: asbestos mining, aerospace, asbestos abatement, chemical, automotive, construction, longshore, maritime, petrochemical and railroad. Within those industries, a large number of trade and supervisory workers could have been affected by these asbestos containing products. These include, but are not limited to, plumbers, pipefitters, insulators, floor tile and linoleum layers, cement masons, brickmasons, acoustical workers, spray gun workers, boilermakers and Naval firemen.
Asbestos is composed of tiny fibers that sometimes break apart and float in the atmosphere. They are too small to be seen by the human eye, and can be inhaled without people realizing it. Workers in the occupations noted above were at risk for inhaling microscopic bits of asbestos while on the job. As a result, they have an increased chance of developing respiratory illnesses including an asbestos cancer known as mesothelioma. Because asbestos products, like those developed by Armstrong World Industries, are still found in older jobsites the EPA has issued mesothelioma prevention mandates. Unfortunately those mandates were issued only after large numbers of workers had already suffered from asbestos exposure.
Once the true nature of asbestos was known, people began to sue the manufacturers of the products that put them at risk. Over time more than 170,000 personal injury claims were filed against Armstrong Holdings. The expected cost for these cases started at over $750 million and went as high as $1.3 billion. By 2000, the company filed for bankruptcy protection against the asbestos lawsuits. They were also recognized for being a producer of dangerous products and were noted to be one of the top 100 polluters in the United States for 2002. Between the lawsuits and the national recognition of selling asbestos based products, the company needed a complete turnaround. Armstrong got started on a 6 year bankruptcy plan to reorganize the company and get out from under the massive asbestos-related debt they were incurring. To complete the procedure, the Armstrong World Industries, Inc. Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust was established to deal with the outstanding claims, and any future lawsuits.
The Trust, which began receiving claims in May, 2007, was designed to resolve asbestos personal injury claims made against the company. Victims who were made ill by the products produced by Armstrong are paid out from the fund, and the payment amount is based on the severity of the illness. If you feel that you may have a claim, a mesothelioma attorney can help you to determine whether or not you do and provide assistance with the filing process.