Charlotte is North Carolina’s largest city and the second most important financial center in the United States after New York City. The Charlotte area was the site of the nation’s first major gold rush in the 19th Century. Between the late 19th and mid-20th Centuries, the city grew and evolved into a major modern city, a process assisted by such industries as railroads, construction, and power generation. For much of Charlotte’s modernization period, asbestos was widely used by these industries and many of the city’s residents were exposed to the toxic minerals in job sites, public buildings, and homes. This contributed to the nation’s growing problem of asbestos-related diseases such as malignant mesothelioma.
If you or a loved have mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for a large amount of compensation. Fill out our form to get a free Financial Compensation Packet. You’ll learn about the top mesothelioma lawyers in Charlotte, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file a claim for the asbestos trust funds, and more.
History of Asbestos Use in Charlotte
Like many communities in the pre-Civil War South, Charlotte was slow to develop into a major city. Located in the region called the Backcountry, Charlotte was primarily a rural town for several decades after its incorporation in 1768. In the early part of the 19th Century, following the accidental finding of a 17-lb stone laden with gold, Charlotte became a mining town and the site of America’s first gold rush.
Though much of the mining activity was centered on extracting gold, iron deposits were found throughout Mecklenburg County; several foundries, including the Vesuvius Furnace and Tizrah Forge melted various metals and manufactured finished goods, such as pots and kettles used for cooking.
Although the city grew in size steadily during its mining heyday, Charlotte retained its rural identity until the first passenger train arrived in 1852. This development, along with the establishment of the first telegraph and the growth of the textile industry, made Charlotte a more urban community with the ability to reach more markets for its goods.
For much of the late 19th Century and the early decades of the 20th, Charlotte was a major cotton distribution center and railroad hub. These two economic activities led to the city’s first major population boom, which coincided with the creation of Charlotte’s electric streetcar lines and the entry of the U.S. into World War I in 1917. The Army built a training center, Camp Greene, where thousands of soldiers trained before shipping out to France to fight in the war. Many World War I veterans returned to the area and settled in Charlotte.
Charlotte experienced the same economic boom-and-bust cycles that affected the nation during the 20th Century. The city was hit hard by the Great Depression, but federal programs helped ease unemployment by funding projects such as the building of what is now Charlotte Douglas International Airport. World War II saw the creation of the U.S. Rubber plant, which at one point employed 10,000 men and women in the Charlotte area.
After the war ended in 1945, Charlotte was fully a modern American city, with television stations, public buildings such as the Charlotte Coliseum and the adjacent Owens Auditorium, which was completed in September of 1955. Four years later, the Charlottetown Mall opened, becoming the first enclosed shopping center in the Carolinas.
Although these evolutionary changes were beneficial to Charlotte and its residents, most of them occurred at the same time that asbestos was widely used in the U.S. by various industries. Known since ancient times for their ability to withstand fire, high temperatures, electrical currents, and chemical reactions, asbestos minerals were extracted, processed, and sold to almost every industry in America during the Industrial Revolution and for many decades that followed.
Gold Bond/National Gypsum
Established in 1925, the National Gypsum Company is a leading manufacturer of construction and building products, headquartered in Charlotte. However, as with most manufacturing companies prior to the EPA regulations, the National Gypsum Company used asbestos heavily from the 1950s until the 1970s.
Most of the products made with asbestos were made under the Gold Bond Buildings Products label, including:
- Cement board
- Humidity-proof panels
- Joint compounds
- Texture paint
As a result of the heavy asbestos usage, lawsuits soon followed against both National Gypsum Company and Gold Bond Building Products. In fact, the sheer amount of lawsuits resulted in the 1985 Wellington Agreement, in which the company moved all of their pending asbestos lawsuits to the Asbestos Claims Facility. In 1990, National Gypsum filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
In 1993, the company, now called NGC, created an asbestos trust fund and settlement deal that allowed them to never be sued for asbestos use again. However, they are now mandated to pay $347 million to the Asbestos Claims Management Corporation (ACMC).
Additional Job Sites and Businesses Associated with Asbestos Use in Charlotte
Charlotte’s past as a mining and metalworks town, as well as the widespread use of asbestos in such industries as power generation and construction, has left its traces in several job sites and public buildings in the area. A large number of these sites are known to have been built with or to contain significant amounts of ACMs.
Schools and Hospitals
- Coulwood Middle School
- Johnson C Smith University
- University of North Carolina
- Western North Carolina Vocational School
- Charlotte Memorial Hospital
- Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center
- CMC Mercy Hospital
- Davidson College
- Hawthorne Medical Center
- Barnhardt Manufacturing Company
- Highland Park Manufacturing Company
- Savona Manufacturing
- Anchor Mills
- Arlington Cotton Mills
- Chadbourn Hosiery Mills, Inc.
- Charlotte Cotton Mills
- Highland Mills
- Charlotte Ordnance Missile Plant (COMP)
- Westinghouse Plant
Additional Job Sites, Buildings, and Businesses
- Acoustics Engineering
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport
- WSOC TV
- Charlottetown Mall
- Charlotte Utilities
- D. & B. Insulation Company, Inc.
- Duke Energy
- J.A. Jones Construction Company
- The Linde Group
- McLaren Industries
- North Carolina National Bank
- The Porter Hayden Company
- Robinson Electric Company
- Raddison Hotel
- Wachovia Bank
- Webel Knitting Company
If you are a victim of asbestos exposure and have been diagnosed with asbestosis, mesothelioma, or other serious medical conditions linked to the toxic material, there are two major cancer facilities in the Carolinas. These cancer centers and their staffs offer specialized medical treatment, counseling, and other patient-related services that can alleviate the symptoms and provide emotional support to you and your loved ones.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Comprehensive Cancer Center
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston Salem, NC 27157
Carolina Pulmonary and Critical Care Center
Lexington Medical Park 2
146 North Hospital Drive, Suite 400
West Columbia, SC 29169
Legal Help in Charlotte and Additional Information
Get our free Financial Compensation Packet for information on the top mesothelioma and asbestos lawyers in your area . If you have questions or need assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.