Resources for Patients and their Families

H.K. Porter Canvas

The H. K. Porter Company was established in 1866 as a producer of light duty locomotives, but by the mid 1900's the railroad industry was declining in popularity and the company was forced to branch off in other directions. They began producing industrial products, many of which contained a mineral called asbestos.

Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, American manufacturers used asbestos in a multitude of products. It was popular because it was powerful, shapeable and able to withstand fire and extreme high heat environments. For close to a century companies continued to mine the mineral to sell to manufacturers all over the nation, but things came to an end by the late 1970's when it was found to be a potentially deadly toxin and one of the causes of mesothelioma.

Researchers knew that it was easy to inhale microscopic particles of asbestos without even realizing it, and they began to study the effects it had on the human respiratory system. The results were not favorable. Scientists found that the particles promoted led to difficulties with breathing as well as cancerous diseases like Mesothelioma (including pericardial mesothelioma). There is no mesothelioma cure and because the mesothelioma latency period can be long, the life expectancy of those diagnosed with the disease is usually short. Both men and women are affected by this disease and smoking has been found to be a risk factor as well. Browse our mesothelioma resources section and mesothelioma treatment guide for more information.

As people did start to get sick, many lawsuits were filed by mesothelioma attorneys against companies that manufactured products containing this poisonous mineral. H.K. Porter underwent a bankruptcy procedure that allowed them to escape the huge debt they were compiling for the personal injury claims in exchange for setting up a trust fund to provide restitution for the victims who were made ill or lost loved ones.

Regrettably, there is no way to know how many products, including the asbestos containing canvas produced by H.K. Porter, may still be out there. People who come up against these items face the risk of exposure to asbestos particles, so this could continue to be an ongoing problem for many years. If you believe that you or a loved one were injured by working with or around H.K. Porter canvas, please request a copy of our free kit that provides information about asbestos, mesothelioma cancer and your legal rights as an injured party.

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