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PHENOLIC MOLDING COMPOUNDS

If you or a loved one worked in a plant, between 1960 and 1985 that manufactured electrical, automotive or aircraft products utilizing a process called compression molding, there is a high likelihood that you’ve been exposed to asbestos containing molding compounds.  From the 1960s through the 1980s many phenolic molding compounds contained a significant percentage of asbestos.

Asbestos molding compounds was used to manufacture many different products including:

  • Electrical components such as circuit breakers, switchboards and electrical panels.
  • Consumer goods including plastic handles, tools, cookware and appliances.
  • Automobile parts including transmission parts (phenolic reactors), arc chutes, brake pads and brake linings.
  • Aircraft and weapon systems such as missile casings, aircraft drop tanks and rocket nose cones.

The primary source of exposure occurred when molders poured the molding compounds in the hopper connected to the molding machines.  The molding compounds normally were supplied in barrels or bags.  Sometimes they were transported into a plant via railcar.  The molding compounds were granular and stirred up a substantial amount of dust when poured into the hoppers.  The molders and set up personnel experienced a substantial asbestos exposure from the molding compounds poured into the hoppers as well as from handling the molds when they came out of the machines.

Once the final product was molded and had hardened, it frequently was transferred to a finishing area where excess plastic pieces, known as flash, was removed using a grinding wheel and hand grinders.  The people, who performed these tasks experienced high levels of asbestos exposure from grinding and sanding off the flash.

Asbestos exposure was not limited to the molders, set up people and finishers.  Other workers, who worked in the mold rooms and finishing departments, performing other tasks, experienced significant exposure as well.  The common molding department contained ten or more molding machines, all of which contained hoppers in which molding compounds were poured.  Most molding operations had multiple grinding machines.  Maintenance personnel, electricians, pipefitters and other production workers experienced daily exposures to asbestos from the molding compounds even though they did not personally use them.

Unfortunately, family members of exposed workers also experienced substantial exposure to asbestos from laundering or simply being around the worker’s asbestos contaminated clothing.

Asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases. Workers who manufactured phenolic plastic molding compounds and who used molding compounds to manufacture products have developed mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases.  Family members of exposed workers have likewise developed asbestos related diseases from exposure to their loved one’s contaminated clothing.

Manufacturers that made asbestos plastics include:

  • Plastic Engineering Company (Plenco)
  • Hooker Chemical Company
  • Durez Corporation
  • Union Carbide Corporation (UCC)
  • Rogers Corporation
  • Fiberite, Inc.
  • General Electric Company
  • Monsanto Chemical Corp.

Companies that utilized asbestos containing molding compounds to manufacture products:

  • Cutler Hammer Inc.
  • Eaton Corporation
  • Plastic Moldings Corporation
  • Square D. Corporation
  • Chicago Molded Products Co.
  • Diemolding Corp.
  • Modern Plastics
  • Dickten Masch Plastics

If you or a loved one worked at any of these facilities or many others throughout the Country, and developed mesothelioma, you should contact Satterley & Kelley immediately.  We have handled cases for clients involving exposure to asbestos containing molding compounds at many of these locations for more than years recovering tens of millions of dollars in compensation.  We understand the products at issue and understand the exposures.  We can help you recover for your preventable injury.