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In 1959, Bondex was trademarked by the Reardon Company of St. Louis, Missouri. Bondex products, most notably joint compound and other putties, were initially marketed for do-it-yourself projects. Unfortunately, these home repair products included asbestos fibers.

Reardon, and its Bondex brand, were purchased by RPM Inc. in 1966 and the company continued to produce the asbestos-containing products. Bondex included asbestos in their products until 1981. This 20-year use of the toxin resulted in numerous asbestos-related lawsuits and expensive litigation. These costs led Bondex to file for bankruptcy in 2010. The company also created an asbestos trust, which now handles all claims from asbestos-victims.


Bondex International History of Asbestos Use

Quick Facts
  • 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.

Asbestos is known to have been included in Bondex’s joint compound, texture paint, topping cement and roof cement, among others.

Bondex Products Containing Asbestos
Expand List of 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 Multi-Patch 1977
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 Perma-Plastic 1969 1981
Bondex Permaroof 1969 1981
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:

  • Reardon
  • Trax
  • Dramex
  • 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.

Today, demolition and construction workers may still be exposed to Bondex asbestos products when working on older homes, schools and public buildings.

Occupations Impacted by Bondex International's Asbestos Use

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.

Willis v. Bondex et al.
  • 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.

The current payment percentage for successful claims is 22%.

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.

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