Carpenters & Asbestos Exposure

Throughout the 20th century, carpenters used materials and tools that contained asbestos fibers. These products put them at risk of developing debilitating asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis.

For over 45 years, Sokolove Law has fought on behalf of asbestos exposure victims, recovering billions of dollars for families nationwide. Call (800) 647-3434 now to see if you may be eligible for compensation.

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Asbestos in the Carpentry Industry

CarpenterCarpentry is a profession with many health and safety risks. The machinery, heavy lifting, and toxic solvents used throughout the job can create a dangerous environment.

However, many carpenters who worked before the 1980s were kept in the dark about one of the worst hazards of all: asbestos.

Before metal studs were invented to frame drywall, carpenters were responsible for framing the inside and outside of virtually every residential, industrial, and commercial building. They also frequently built smaller-scale products like furniture.

For much of the 20th century, many of the everyday tools and materials that carpenters used contained asbestos. Unfortunately, this was a time before the dangers of asbestos became widespread public knowledge.

As carpenters constructed buildings and furniture, among other things, their materials and tools may have released asbestos fibers into the air. This put their health — as well as the health of their coworkers and families — at serious risk.

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Asbestos-Containing Carpentry Materials

Almost every carpentry product made before the 1980s had the potential to contain asbestos. The purpose of adding asbestos to these products was to protect them against fire, heat, and decay.

Common asbestos-containing carpentry products included:

  • Finishing cement
  • Floor tiles
  • Insulation (both spray-on and panel)
  • Joint compounds
  • Patching plasters
  • Roofing shingles and siding
  • Wallboard products like drywall and tape

However, by the 1920s some researchers had found indisputable evidence that inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers could lead to the development of fatal or debilitating diseases.

Many companies that made asbestos-containing products failed to share this information with the public. They hid the knowledge that asbestos was harmful to human health and chose to put profits over the well-being of their employees and consumers.

Once this information became public knowledge in the 1980s, most asbestos-made carpentry materials were phased out of production. Unfortunately, the damage was already done.

Carpentry Roles at Risk of Mesothelioma

Carpentry is a versatile skill and embodies a number of different roles and careers. As a result, there were many ways carpenters could be exposed to asbestos.

General, specialty, and heavy-construction carpenters have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

Mesothelioma Risks by the Numbers

According to the International Journal of Epidemiology, carpenters are over 34% more likely to develop mesothelioma than the general public. The only known cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure.

Other types of carpenters with a higher risk of developing these diseases include:

  • Finishers
  • Floor layers
  • Formers
  • Framers

These professionals used a variety of hand and power tools to cut, hammer, and sand asbestos-containing materials. This unknowingly generated large amounts of asbestos-contaminated dust in often cramped spaces, making the fibers easier to inhale or ingest.

Call Sokolove Law right now at (800) 647-3434 to learn more about pursuing justice and financial compensation in the face of an asbestos-related diagnosis.

Carpenters & Asbestos Exposure Risks Today

Though carpenters rarely work on large-scale projects anymore — and most manufacturers have phased out asbestos-containing products — several factors put carpenters at continued risk today.

Examples of these factors include:

  • Current Projects: Carpenters are occasionally called upon for framing, insulating, and other construction work. Though they are now trained to wear protective clothing, some respirator filters only protect against asbestos fibers to a certain degree. Unfortunately, it only takes one fiber to trigger an asbestos-related disease.
  • Older Buildings: Carpenters are still at risk today if they do remodeling or demolition on older buildings. Buildings constructed before the 1980s likely still contain asbestos-contaminated materials, and demolition and/or renovation projects in these buildings sometimes involve cutting away these materials, which releases asbestos into the air.
  • Symptoms Decades Later: Symptoms of asbestos-related diseases usually appear 20-50 years after first exposure. Because of the long latency period, carpenters exposed to asbestos years ago may not realize that they are now at risk.

Another threat to carpenters and their families, which sometimes gets overlooked, is the risk of secondary exposure. Anyone in proximity to a carpenter at work is at risk as asbestos dust spreads easily.

Family members are particularly at risk for what is referred to as “secondhand exposure.” They may have been exposed to asbestos dust that was brought home on workers’ clothes, hair, skin, or tools.

Asbestos fibers can get lodged within the lungs or organ linings. Since the body is unable to process these fibers, they begin to irritate healthy tissue and can cause diseases to develop decades after exposure.

Asbestos-related diseases include:

  • Mesothelioma: Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer. It occurs when asbestos fibers get stuck in the linings of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. As the damage worsens, cells begin to mutate and form cancerous tumors. Symptoms of mesothelioma vary depending on where it develops.
  • Asbestosis: Asbestosis occurs when asbestos fibers get stuck in the lungs. As scar tissue and fluids build up in the lung, it gets stiffer. This makes it hard for the affected person to breathe. Symptoms of asbestosis include a constant cough and shortness of breath.
  • Lung Cancer: Asbestos-related lung cancer is rare, but it can also occur as a result of exposure to asbestos. Unlike mesothelioma, lung cancer develops in the lung itself. Lung cancer symptoms are marked by a bloody cough, chest pain, and sudden weight loss.

Carpenters are at risk of developing asbestos-related diseases due to their proximity to this toxic mineral at many job sites.


Average Yearly Cost of Asbestos Cancer Treatment

Thankfully, you may be able to access financial compensation to help pay for treatment. Sokolove Law has recovered over $5 Billion for victims and their families.

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Compensation for Asbestos-Related Diseases

Carpenters were not warned about the risks of asbestos exposure, and they were often not provided with the proper protective gear while working. However, there are numerous resources that may be available to those impacted by asbestos-related diseases.

Sokolove Law may be able to help you pursue compensation from multiple sources as a way of maximizing your potential results.

It is important to note that financial compensation can vary depending on the type and severity of your illness.

Asbestos Lawsuits

Asbestos lawsuits take legal action against the company responsible for your asbestos exposure. Those who lost a loved one to an asbestos-related disease may also be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

The majority of lawsuits end in an asbestos settlement, where both parties agree on a set amount of money to be paid to the victim.

$1M - $1.4M

Average Mesothelioma Settlement Amount

If a settlement agreement is unable to be reached, the case will likely proceed to a trial. Sokolove Law can help you through every stage of this process so that you can focus on what truly matters most: your health and your family.

Asbestos Trust Fund Claims

Many asbestos-related companies filed for bankruptcy once the truth about asbestos was revealed. The courts made all companies filing for bankruptcy establish trust funds to compensate current and future victims of asbestos exposure.

$30 Billion

Estimated Amount in Asbestos Trust Funds

Asbestos trust funds can help victims and their loved ones get compensation without ever going to court. Carpenters may be eligible to file claims against multiple trust funds if they were exposed to asbestos through various different materials and products.

VA Benefits for Asbestos-Related Diseases

Carpenters that also served in the U.S. military may qualify for VA benefits. The VA provides healthcare and financial assistance to veterans with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.


VA Monthly Payment for Mesothelioma, Plus Free Health Care

Our VA-accredited lawyers can help you successfully navigate the complex claims process so that you can get the help you deserve.

Billions Recovered Nationwide

At Sokolove Law, we’ve recovered over $5 Billion for thousands of asbestos exposure victims and their families nationwide. Let us get you the results you deserve.

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Sokolove Law: Lawyers for Carpenters Exposed to Asbestos

Many manufacturers of asbestos-containing products knew of the dangers that asbestos posed to human health. In order to protect their own profits, they willingly exposed carpenters for decades.

Because of this, you or your loved one may be eligible to seek justice and financial compensation for carpentry-related asbestos exposure.

As a national mesothelioma law firm, Sokolove Law has over 45 years of experience handling asbestos cases for patients and their families. We are dedicated to holding negligent companies accountable for the harm that they have caused.

Call (800) 647-3434 or fill out our contact form today for a free legal case review. Our dedicated team is standing by 24/7 to help you understand your options.

Mesothelioma & Carpenters FAQs

Are carpenters exposed to asbestos?

Potentially, yes. Until the 1980s, the majority of carpentry materials contained asbestos.

Today, some carpenters may still encounter asbestos in their work, particularly if they:

  • Complete projects on older buildings
  • Work with materials like insulation and vinyl floor tiles

Since asbestos-related diseases can take 20-50 years to develop, those that were exposed decades ago may still be at risk of getting sick.

Can asbestos be found in wood cabinets?

Unfortunately, yes. Cabinetmakers and woodworkers may have been exposed to asbestos throughout the 20th century.

Cabinet-making products that used asbestos included:

  • Adhesives
  • Fiberboard
  • Paints and finishes
  • Paper linings in their interiors
  • Veneers on cabinet exteriors

What are the 3 main illnesses that are associated with asbestos exposure?

Mesothelioma, asbestosis, and asbestos-related lung cancer are the three main illnesses associated with asbestos exposure.

However, asbestos exposure can also other medical issues like pleural effusions, pleural plaques, and interstitial fibrosis

If you or a loved one developed an asbestos-related disease, contact Sokolove Law to learn more about the legal and financial options that may be available to you.

What is the most common cause of mesothelioma?

Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma.

Exposure to asbestos can cause a range of asbestos-related diseases, from mesothelioma and lung cancer to asbestosis and more.

What dangers do carpenters face?

On a daily basis, carpenters are exposed to health and safety risks like:

  • Dangerous machinery
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Heavy lifting
  • Toxic solvents, molds, and fungi

However, carpenters also risk being exposed to asbestos fibers — especially those that worked before or during the 1980s.

Asbestos is a toxic mineral that can cause deadly diseases to develop 20-50 years after exposure.

  1. American Cancer Society. “Malignant Mesothelioma.” Retrieved from: Accessed on February 2, 2024.
  2. International Journal of Epidemiology. “Past and current asbestos exposure and future mesothelioma risks in Britain: The Inhaled Particles Study (TIPS).” Retrieved from: Accessed on February 2, 2024.
  3. Mount Sinai. “Asbestos Health Facts for Construction Workers.” Retrieved from: Accessed on February 2, 2024.
  4. National Library of Medicine. “Occupational, domestic and environmental mesothelioma risks in the British population: a case–control study.” Retrieved from: Accessed on February 2, 2024.
  5. United States Environmental Protection Agency. “Learn About Asbestos.” Retrieved from: Accessed on February 2, 2024.