You probably did not know that a large number of the doors you use every day are filled with asbestos. In the 1960s and 70s, many manufacturers used asbestos in fire-rated wood doors. Asbestos was originally used in many products, including these doors due to its fire-resistant qualities.
Fire doors have specific ratings that indicate burn rates. B and C rated fire doors contain the highest amounts of asbestos, and they have burn rates of either 45, 60 or 90 minutes. These doors were often (and are still) found in offices, schools, hospitals, and even apartment buildings. The asbestos is not visible from the outside because it was manufactured on the inside between the wooden panels.
How am I at risk of being exposed?
Any time you would drill or cut into one of these doors, you were at risk of being exposed. Once the mineral core of a fire door is disturbed, the asbestos fibers can be released into the air. Sadly, many laborers or carpenters who installed or fixed these doors were exposed to asbestos from adding hardware that required drilling. Some of the hardware installed in these doors included:
· Panic bars
I worked with fire doors. What are my legal options?
Recently, trial attorney Gil Purcell represented an 84-year-old career fire door installer who was diagnosed with mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure from his work. The case was resolved at jury selection, and a hefty sum will go to our client. The manufacturer was deemed negligent due to its knowledge of asbestos and its health hazards. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease and worked as a fire door installer, do not hesitate to contact us about asbestos exposure.