Asbestos in Corrugated Paper Exposure and Risks

Summary

Corrugated paper with asbestos was a versatile product during the 1900s. Construction crews wrapped it around pipes for thermal insulation while manufacturers used it in a wide range of products for fireproofing and reinforcement. During production, insulation and removal, workers were exposed to harmful asbestos fibers that may later cause mesothelioma.

Corrugated paper has been a popular product for centuries.

It was first used in the United States for packing breakables like lanterns and glass bottles. Cardboard boxes became the next great use for the product. New Yorker Albert Jones patented corrugated paper in 1871, and his design has been adjusted ever since.

Asbestos in Corrugated Paper Explained

During the 1900s, manufacturers started using asbestos in corrugated paper. By then, it was used for a broader range of consumer and building supply goods. Asbestos was practical for its heat-resistance and durability, and companies were keen to improve their products.

Corrugated paper with asbestos was often used as a building material for insulation. Construction crews wrapped the flexible material around pipes and hot water tank lines as a fireproofing measure and for thermal insulation. It was also used in household appliances like ovens, fireplaces and air-conditioning units.

MJN Brief

Many consumer goods made before the 1980s contain corrugated paper with asbestos somewhere in the product. But its versatility would later be overshadowed with tragedy when asbestos was proven to directly cause mesothelioma and other diseases.

Its strength and lightweight qualities also made asbestos in corrugated paper useful for linings and reinforcement for electrical panels, roofing, flooring and mats, for example. Even furniture like beds, tables, couches and cabinets used corrugated paper with asbestos for backing and added strength.

Who Was Exposed to Asbestos in Corrugated Paper?

Due to its broad use, asbestos in corrugated paper exposed a large cross-section of people to the harmful product. Anyone who worked at a factory or along an assembly line before the 1980s may have been exposed to asbestos through products using corrugated paper.

Employees at corrugated paper factories were also at high risk of exposure.

Workers who added asbestos mixtures to products may have inadvertently disturbed the hazardous fibers. Once the fibers became airborne, those workers and anyone else in the factory were susceptible to inhaling or ingesting them.

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Construction workers were often exposed to asbestos on a daily basis.

Workers who wrapped corrugated paper around pipes, placed it in walls or inserted it beneath flooring likely agitated the fibers as they worked and chanced to breathe them in. Working in areas with little ventilation exposed fellow crew members too.

Other individuals who may have been exposed to asbestos from corrugated paper at the workplace include:

Not only were workers exposed to asbestos. Unfortunately, their family members, friends and colleagues unknowingly risked exposure. Spouses who laundered asbestos-ridden uniforms and children who hugged their parents after work may have inhaled asbestos fibers still on the clothing.

Health Risks of Asbestos in Corrugated Paper

Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma, a serious cancer that currently has no cure. Mesothelioma often takes decades to develop after a person is exposed to asbestos—sometimes as long as 50 years. Catching mesothelioma early gives patients the longest-possible life expectancy.

Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma from asbestos in corrugated paper may have one of the following types of the disease:

  1. Pleural Mesothelioma: The most common form, accounting for 70-80% of cases. Workers are exposed when they inhale the sharp asbestos fibers, which then get stuck in the lung lining (pleura). The fibers irritate pleural cells for years, and eventually mesothelioma develops.
  2. Peritoneal Mesothelioma: A much less common form, accounting for 20-30% of cases. Workers with this type are exposed when they ingest asbestos fibers, which lodge in the abdominal lining (peritoneum). Years later, cancer develops in the abdomen.

Asbestos in corrugated paper remains a health risk today. Many homes, furniture pieces and household products built before the 1980s still contain corrugated paper with asbestos. While asbestos is safe when contained and undisturbed, its fibers can escape through cracks and flaws. Decades-old paper products may look intact to the eye but can fall apart at the touch.

Access Asbestos Trust Funds

Compensation for treatment, loss of income and other damages is available through Asbestos Trust Funds. Workers with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses may qualify.

Find Out If You Qualify

Seeking Justice for Asbestos Exposure

Corrugated paper with asbestos has put many people at risk of developing mesothelioma. Those responsible for your illness should be brought to justice. To start building a claim, it is essential for plaintiffs to determine the exact nature of when and where you were exposed.

If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma from working with asbestos in corrugated paper, contact the Justice Support Team today to learn more about your next steps. Call us at (888) 360-4215 or request a FREE Mesothelioma Justice Guide to understand your legal options to help cover your treatment costs.

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Sources
  1. Maple Valley Fire & Life Safety, “How To Recognize & Avoid Asbestos.” Retrieved from: http://www.maplevalleyfire.org/documents/RandAAsbestos.pdf. Accessed on June 11, 2018.
  2. Oracle Solutions, “Asbestos Gallery | Asbestos Paper & Felts.” Retrieved from:http://www.oracleasbestos.com/asbestos-pictures/gallery-6-paper-and-felts. Accessed on June 11, 2018.
  3. Science Lens, “Albert Jones and the Invention of Corrugated Cardboard.” Retrieved from: https://sciencelens.co.nz/2012/12/19/corrugated-cardboard. Accessed on June 11, 2018.
  4. University of Manitoba, “Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Reference Guide.” Retrieved from: https://umanitoba.ca/campus/health_and_safety/asbestos/acm%20booklet/ACM%20Glossary%20Booklet%20R-031030%20FINAL-%20Complete.pdf. Accessed on June 11, 2018.

Last modified: June 19, 2018