Celotex Asbestos Trust

The Celotex Corp. was founded in the early 1920s and became a leader in sugar cane bagasse fiberboard insulation manufacturing. By the 1960s, the company, working closely with its Canadian division Phillip Carey Manufacturing Company (Carey Canada), started incorporating asbestos into its popular insulation, roofing and building materials for use in both commercial and residential applications.

Celotex used raw asbestos shipped from Carey Canada. Both companies knew from about 1935 that contractors working with the branded insulation ran the risk of developing asbestos-related diseases. In 1990, Celotex filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, after some 400,000 people injured by the company’s asbestos products filed legal claims. In 1998, the Celotex Asbestos Settlement Trust was funded with $1.5 billion.

Celotex Asbestos Products

  • Cemesto structural insulation
  • Celo-Siding housing material
  • Acoustic tiles
  • Asphalt roof rolls
  • Flexcell joint filler
  • Celo-Rok Gypsum products
  • Carey 7-M Asbestos Shorts
  • Carey Block Insulation
  • Carey firefoil board & panels
  • Careyflex board
  • Careytemp masonry block insulation and blocks
  • Carey Industrial A/C boards
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How was the Celotex Trust Formed?

Celotex Asbestos Settlement Trust launched in 1996 as a result of the bankruptcies of Celotex Corp. and Carey Canada, which mined the asbestos for both companies. The companies faced 380,000 legal claims that equaled more than $200 billion. The trust was funded with some $1.5 billion. The Celotex trust set a precedent for all future trusts for claimants to show proof of exposure to specific products. Celotex manufactured products for industrial uses. Many contained asbestos because of its heat and chemical resistance.

The Celotex trust, similar to other asbestos trust funds, has a limited amount of funds and pays a set percentage of the amount requested in an effort to ensure there is enough money for all claimants. In October 2015, the Celotex trust payment increased from 6.5 percent to 7.7 percent. That means that claimants get 7.7 percent of the funds requested. This allows the trust money to be more evenly distributed among all claimants.

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High Risk Occupations

Celotex had at least 26 plants nationwide before the company went bankrupt in the 1990s. Even today, many of the plants still have asbestos contamination. In addition to the plant workers, everyone from delivery people to construction workers to local residents are at risk for developing asbestos-related diseases. Some at-risk occupations include the following:

Roofers

Celotex products used by roofers include branded Cemesto, insulation board, asphalt roofing and asbestos felt. Other products include Celotex gypsum roof slabs, used to replace wooden roof decks.

Home builders

Products used include Carey Insulating Sheathing, asphalt roofing and Celo-Rox gypsum wallboard. Other products also include Celotex insulating lumber, Celo-Siding and Celotex bricks.

Masonry workers

Celotex bricks were made from a combination of cement and asbestos. Celotex Carey 7M Cement was also used.

Insulators

Insulators used fiberboard sheathing and a variety of asbestos-based insulation, including block insulation. Celotex Cemesto, Thermo-board, Carey Flex Board and Carey Millboard were also used.

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Celotex Exposure

Most of Celotex’s manufacturing plants nationwide utilized asbestos in some form. Many of them used asbestos shipped from Canada or mines in Libby, Montana. In the past decade, Celotex plants have been linked to asbestos-related diseases. As early as 1965, the company knew that household members of those working with asbestos were at risk of developing asbestos-related injuries.

The Celotex plant in Marrero, Louisiana was a major producer of asbestos insulation. Many who lived near the plant recall seeing a thick coating of a white dusty substance that appeared to be asbestos covering properties and structures. The company also operated a gypsum board manufacturing plant in New Jersey. The company brought in about 300 tons of asbestos from mines in Libby, Montana from 1967 through 1969. Some 30,000 people living within a one-mile radius of the site are at risk for developing mesothelioma. The site is now a residential neighborhood.

Celotex Settlements

Trust fund claimants who opt for a discounted cash payment receive their funds sooner than those who elect individualized review claims. Discounted cash payments are guaranteed and require less paperwork, but the amount of the payment may be less than individualized review claims.

Most asbestos victims utilize more than one asbestos trust for funds. The following is a schedule for discount cash payments per disease:

DiseaseCompensation
Mesothelioma$6,800
Lung Cancer$1,750
Other Cancer$1,080
Asbestosis$690
Bilateral Pleural Disease$350

Celotex was also found responsible for widespread asbestos use in New York City. In a landmark 2007 court decision, the trust was ordered to pay more than $40 million for 400 claims by New York City for asbestos in schools and other buildings.

Celotex Asbestos Products

Products in the Celotex product line that were known to contain asbestos include the following:

Cemesto structural insulation

As Celotex’s signature product, Cemesto was a widely used composite building material made from sugar cane fiberboard surfaced on both sides with asbestos and cement. Other types of structural insulations in the product line include Celo-Siding and Carey firefoil.

Carey Block Insulation

Especially designed to insulate boilers, pipes, ovens and other high-temperature equipment, Carey Block Insulation was made from a mixture of diatomaceous earth and asbestos fiber. It was bonded together and molded in commercial-sized blocks.

Carey Blue Mud (7M-90) Insulation Cement

This mixture of asbestos and cement was used for its strength and heat resistance. In its raw form, this product was dry and produced clouds of toxic dust. After it was installed, cracked or crumbling insulation cement would also release toxic asbestos.

Thermoglass Pipe Covering

Used for hot water and steam piping, this pipe covering can also be used as an outside layer over high-temperature insulation.

Celotex Celo-Rok

Produced since the 1940s, this drywall was known to contain asbestos. The company did not list asbestos as an ingredient in the product.

Carey Asbestos Roofing/Flooring

Carey Canada originally used its roofing products for roof applications but later marketed the product as flooring. The product was made from asbestos-coated felts.


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