Rutland Fire Clay Company was founded in Montpelier, Vermont, in 1883. Its first marketed product was a stove lining intended to reduce soot buildup and make stoves more efficient. The company gradually branched out to make stove polishes, home repair items and construction materials.
The company devoted a large portion of its early investment to controlling creosote – a combustible byproduct that tends to build up in coal and wood fired chimneys and stoves. Many of Rutland’s products during the early 1900s were designed to reduce soot, thereby simplifying home fireplace maintenance. These items also made Rutland very popular when shortages during World War II saw increased wood stove usage.
Rutland’s focus on manufacturing large lots of construction products made low-cost asbestos a desirable choice. Asbestos was a popular fill used in patching compounds and cements that were designed to stand up to high temperatures.
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Some of these products contained up to 10 percent chrysotile asbestos. When homeowners or construction workers remodel, drill, saw or break through walls or panels to access crawlspaces, they can damage the products and release asbestos dust. Inhaling these particles over years is the primary cause of mesothelioma.
Matt Mauney is an award-winning journalist with nearly a decade of professional writing experience. He joined Asbestos.com in 2016, and he spends much of his time reading, analyzing and reporting on mesothelioma research articles to ensure people in the mesothelioma community know the latest medical advancements. Prior to joining Asbestos.com, Matt was a reporter at the Orlando Sentinel. Matt also edits some of the pages on the website. He also holds a certificate in health writing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read More