Asbestos Manufacturers: Union Carbide

Posted on Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 at 1:35 pm    

Union Carbide: History

Asbestos Manufacturers: Union Carbide

Asbestos Manufacturers: Union Carbide

Union Carbide was founded in 1917 as Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation. The company first bought and produced ethylene in 1919. In 1920, it established Carbide and Carbon Chemicals Corporation; shortly thereafter it opened the first ever commercial ethylene plant in Clendenin, West Virginia. This plant manufactured a number of ethylene products including ethylene glycol, which is used as automotive antifreeze.

Between 1920 and 1957 the company grew, merged and acquired many companies and in 1957 it became known as Union Carbide Corporation.

During the 1960s it mined and milled chrysotile asbestos near King City, California. They gave the asbestos the trade name Calidria asbestos. Calidria was sold to other companies and was used in the manufacture of other products such as cement and paint.

Asbestos related claims

From 1945 to 1980 individuals have filed claims of asbestos exposure in the Union Carbide plants. Other claims filed are for exposure as a result of the products that contained Calidria chrysotile asbestos between the years 1964 and 1972.

Unlike asbestos producing companies Union Carbide has not set up a trust for claims or filed bankruptcy. However, the company has settled many claims while some claims remain unpaid. In fact, the company has taken a stance to defend itself in court against current and future claims.

A Los Angeles jury in June 2012, awarded forty million dollars ($40 million) to a plaintiff and his wife; of which thirty seven million and five hundred thousand dollars ($37.5 million) was to be paid by Union Carbide. This was as a result of asbestos exposure from products containing asbestos, which led to a mesothelioma diagnosis in 2011.


In 2001 the company was acquired and made a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company. Since the acquisition the company is said to sell most of its products to The Dow Chemical Company.

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