Bondex International History of Asbestos Use
- Years in Operation: 1959 – present
- Location: Medina County, Ohio
- Production: Joint compound, textured paints, finishes
- Asbestos Trust: Yes
Bondex International began as a small brand in St. Louis, Missouri in 1959. The building products were a success among those in the construction industry and those looking to complete do-it-yourself projects. The fast-growing brand caught the eye of Republic Powdered Metals, which specialized in protective coatings and other industrial maintenance products. Bondex’s parent company Reardon Co. was purchased by Republic Powdered Metals, now known as RPM Inc. in 1966. This acquisition gave RPM Inc. control of Bondex, which was the Ohio-based company’s first foray into more consumer-focused products.
Additionally, Bondex was the company’s first acquisition. RPM Inc. would continue to acquire smaller companies including Rust-Oleum Corporation and DAP Products Inc. in an effort to increase its presence in the building materials market. Some of the companies they acquired were also known to have included asbestos in their products. Bondex used asbestos in their products before, throughout their acquisition and into 1981. DAP also used asbestos in its products until 1977.
Unfortunately, Bondex’s decades-long asbestos use exposed countless Americans to the toxin, leading to mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Because of these diagnoses, thousands of people began to file claims against Bondex, leading to their 2010 bankruptcy.
Bondex International Asbestos Products
Bondex International made asbestos-containing products beginning in 1959. These products were produced under both Reardon Co. and RPM Inc. Asbestos was a known carcinogen as early as the 1920s. However, Bondex and its parent companies continued to use the cheap additive through the 1980s.
Bondex Products Containing Asbestos
|Product Name||Start Year||End Year|
|Bondex “Our Best Grade” Joint Cement||1977|
|Bondex “Premium Joint Compound”||1977|
|Bondex “Stays White” Mobile Home Roof Coating||1972||1981|
|Bondex 100-A All Purpose Joint Cement||1977|
|Bondex 200-B All Purpose Joint Cement||1977|
|Bondex 500-C All Purpose Joint Cement||1977|
|Bondex Alumanation 301|
|Bondex Alumanation 350||1967||1981|
|Bondex Aluminum Roof Coating|
|Bondex Block Filler and Primer||1977|
|Bondex Bondek Black Mastic||1969||1981|
|Bondex Bondek Roof Cement||1969||1981|
|Bondex Bondek Roof Coating||1969||1981|
|Bondex Bontone Fibred Masonry Coating||1974|
|Bondex Brod Dugan Red-I-Mix Joint Cement||1977|
|Bondex Cook’s Lifeline All Purpose Texture Joint and Topping Cement||1977|
|Bondex Dramex Interior Finish||1977|
|Bondex Dramex Ready Mixed Interior Finish||1977|
|Bondex Dramex Ready Mixed Textured Paint||1977|
|Bondex Dramex Spanish Texturing Paint||1977|
|Bondex Dramex Texture Paint||1977|
|Bondex F.O. Pierce Dramex||1977|
|Bondex Formula 1031|
|Bondex GSA Joint Compound||1977|
|Bondex Handy Patch All Purpose Patcher|
|Bondex Heavy Duty Liquid Aluminum Roof Coating|
|Bondex Hi & Dri Joint Cement||1976|
|Bondex Hi & Dri Topping Cement||1977|
|Bondex Joint Compound||1977|
|Bondex Metro Interior Finish (NYC only)||1977|
|Bondex Metro Spanish Texture Paint (NYC only)||1977|
|Bondex Metro Texturing (NYC only)||1977|
|Bondex Mobil Home Aluminum Roof Coating|
|Bondex NPD All Purpose Joint Cement||1977|
|Bondex NPD SX Joint Cement||1976|
|Bondex NPD SX Joint Cement Combination (kit with joint tape)||1976|
|Bondex Penncraft Block Filler||1977|
|Bondex Penncraft Joint Cement||1976|
|Bondex Penncraft Pre-Mixed Joint Cement||1977|
|Bondex Penncraft Water Putty||1977|
|Bondex Pre-Mixed Joint Cement|
|Bondex Reardon’s 500-C All Purpose Joint Cement||1977|
|Bondex Reardon’s All Purpose Joint Cement||1977|
|Bondex Reardon’s All Purpose Joint Topping and Texture Paint||1977|
|Bondex Reardon’s Block Filler and Primer||1977|
|Bondex Reardon’s Handy Patch All Purpose Patcher|
|Bondex Reardon’s Pre-Mixed Joint Cement||1977|
|Bondex Reardon’s Ready-Mixed Joint Cement||1977|
|Bondex Reardon’s SX Joint Cement||1976|
|Bondex Reardon’s SX Topping Cement||1977|
|Bondex Reardon’s Water Putty||1977|
|Bondex SX Joint Cement|
|Bondex SX Topping Cement||1977|
|Bondex Trax Joint Cement||1976|
|Bondex Trax Topping Cement||1977|
|Bondex Trax, Texture Paint||1977|
|Bondex Wards All Purpose Joint Cement (Ready-Mixed)||1977|
|Bondex Wards Texture||1977|
|Bondex Wards Wood Putty||1977|
|Bondex Water Putty (Wood Putty)||1977|
In addition to the Bondex brand name, Bondex International asbestos products were sold at:
- Wards (through Montgomery Ward retailers)
- Penncraft (through J.C. Penny retailers)
Bondex International and Occupational Exposure
Bondex International was initially conceived as a do-it-yourself brand aimed at homeowners for repair jobs. However, the asbestos-containing products have also been the source of occupational asbestos exposure.
All employees working on the manufacture of Bondex brand products may have been exposed to asbestos during their regular job duties. Construction workers, including drywall tapers, masons and others, may have also used the asbestos-containing products while at their jobsites.
Asbestos Litigation Against Bondex International
RPM Inc. started having asbestos-related litigation issues in the 1980s. In 2003, these asbestos claims depleted their insurance policy. Prior to 2003, RPM Inc.’s insurance was able to cover approximately 90% of its Bondex asbestos-related costs.
In the years that followed the end of the insurance payments, RPM Inc. was drowning in asbestos-related expenses. From 2005 through 2009, Bondex and Specialty Products Holding Corp, one of the other RPM subsidiaries that used asbestos, had asbestos costs between $60 million and $82 million each year. In 2000, when insurance was still making payments, they spent only $8.2 million on their asbestos litigation costs.
- In 2009, William Willis was awarded $2 million after developing an asbestos-related disease due to Bondex products.
- Willis completed home repairs with Bondex asbestos-containing products between the 1960s and 1980s.
- He and his wife received compensation for loss of normal life, pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of consortium.
In 2010, without the assistance of the insurance payments, the burden of the asbestos-related costs led RPM Inc. to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy for its Bondex unit. At the time of filing, there were more than 10,000 asbestos lawsuits filed against Bondex International. That same year, a chief executive for RPM Inc. said they had paid out more than $600 million to Bondex asbestos victims in the previous eight years alone.
Bondex’s bankruptcy filing set up an asbestos trust fund to pay victims. The trust fund takes liability away from Bondex International’s parent company, RPM Inc.
Bondex International Asbestos Trust Fund
The Bondex trust was formed in 2016 and was initially funded with $797.5 million. The trust, officially called The Bondex Asbestos Personal Injury Trust, was established and began accepting claims on July 1, 2016.
All asbestos trusts pay a set percentage of each claim filed against it to ensure there are adequate funds for future claimants. However, asbestos victims may receive a higher payout than the base compensation percentage based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to, age, exposure, type and firm settlement history.
Since its formation in 2016, the Bondex asbestos trust has steadily received an influx of capital based on the reorganization plan approved in the company’s bankruptcy filing. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware ordered the $797.5 million be paid into the trust in installments within four years of the trust’s creation.
Today, the Bondex asbestos trust continues to accept claims and compensate victims.