Mesothelioma in Cabinet Makers

Between the 1930s and early 1980s, cabinet makers may have used products containing asbestos in their work. This put them at risk of developing cancers like mesothelioma 10-50 years later. If you or a U.S. veteran you love ever worked as a cabinetmaker and now has mesothelioma, connect with our team for helpful resources.

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Mesothelioma and Cabinet Makers Explained

Cabinet makers encountered asbestos in various ways during the 20th century. Building materials like particleboard, wood glue, and veneer often contained asbestos. Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma, a rare but very aggressive cancer.

Cabinet makers faced exposure when they unknowingly inhaled or ingested the harmful asbestos fibers while working with little ventilation.

Tragically, the risks of asbestos-containing products were hidden from cabinet makers and other blue-collar workers for decades. Manufacturers of asbestos products knew the risks but said nothing because they wanted to keep their profits up.

If you or a loved one was a cabinet maker and now has mesothelioma, we may be able to help secure VA benefits, compensation, and medical treatment. Get started with our Free Veterans Packet.

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What Products Exposed Cabinet Makers to Asbestos?

A wide range of cabinet-making supplies contained asbestos from the 1930s to 1980s. Fire-resistant, lightweight, and durable, asbestos was suitable for use in a variety of products used in construction and cabinet making.

Cabinet makers may have been exposed to asbestos while using these products:

  • Corkboard
  • Flexboard
  • Paint, stains, and finishes
  • Paper lining and backing
  • Particleboard
  • Veneer
  • Wood fiber plaster
  • Wood glue and adhesives

Metal cabinets, such as safes, lockers, filing cabinets, and storage bins, also used asbestos-containing adhesives and paper linings.

Companies like Remington Rand produced cabinets and safes that contained asbestos strips in the drawer heads and have since been removed from offices.

High-Risk Worksites for Asbestos Exposure in Cabinet Makers

Cabinet makers performed their craft on various worksites across the country. Some craftsmen worked for furniture manufacturers, building cabinets in a workshop. Others operated on-site at industrial, residential, and commercial worksites, where they created and installed their cabinets.

Cabinet makers on commercial sites were at risk of exposure to the products they used and other asbestos-containing construction materials such as drywall, floor tiles, insulation, and cement.

Some high-risk worksites for cabinet makers include:

  • Industrial sites: Farms, plants, mills, power stations, factories, mines
  • Businesses: Restaurants, hotels, shops, kiosks
  • Residential buildings: New homes, renovation sites, high-rises
  • Military structures: Bases, Navy ships, barracks, shipyards
  • Service centers: schools, libraries, hospitals, government buildings, sports fields, and arenas

Call (877) 450-8973 now if you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma and worked as a cabinet maker decades ago. You may be eligible for financial compensation and treatments.

Are Cabinet Makers Still at Risk of Asbestos Exposure?

Improved asbestos regulations and safety precautions have lowered cabinet makers' risk of exposure in the present day.

Worksites are often equipped with ventilation and vacuum systems that better remove dust from the air. Most cabinet makers now wear masks and protective clothing to safeguard against inhaling harmful particles.

However, restoration woodworkers who specialize in repairing antique cabinets risk exposure when working on old furniture that contains asbestos. Similarly, workers who repurpose old cabinets risk inhaling asbestos fibers when tearing apart fixtures.

Compensation for Cabinet Makers With Mesothelioma

If you developed an asbestos-related disease from working as a cabinet maker, you may qualify for compensation from different sources. Learn about your options below.

VA Benefits

Cabinet makers who also served in the U.S. military may be eligible for benefits offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The VA typically rates mesothelioma as a 100% disability, allowing veterans to maximize their military benefits.

Notable mesothelioma VA benefits include:

  • Disability compensation often worth almost $4,000 a month
  • Health care services from top VA mesothelioma doctors and hospitals
  • Survivor benefits and resources

The Mesothelioma Veterans Center has VA-accredited attorneys on staff who can help you file or increase your VA benefits for free.

Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Cabinet makers with mesothelioma may be able to file asbestos lawsuits to get compensation. The average mesothelioma lawsuit awards $1 million or more. 

These lawsuits are filed against manufacturers of asbestos-containing products you were exposed to. Filing a lawsuit not only allows you to get a financial payout but also justice for the harm done.

Our team can help you file a lawsuit if you are eligible. Many of those who've worked with our legal partners have started to get payouts in under 90 days. 

Learn more about the ways filing a lawsuit can help you and your family in our Free Veterans Packet. 

Mesothelioma Veterans Guide
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Get information on:

  • Top Treatments
  • Best Doctors
  • Improving Prognosis

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Asbestos Trust Funds

Billions of dollars are available through asbestos trust funds set up by bankrupt manufacturers of asbestos-containing materials.

For example, Armstrong World Industries, which produced building supplies and employed cabinet makers, established a $2 million trust. There's over $30 billion set aside in all asbestos trust funds today.

Work with our team to get help accessing trust fund compensation if you qualify.

We Can Help Cabinet Makers Fighting Mesothelioma

Each year, cabinet makers are diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related health problems decades after being exposed.

Many of these diagnoses could have been avoided had manufacturers revealed the health risks decades earlier.

At the Mesothelioma Veterans Center, we will proudly walk with veteran and civilian cabinet makers after a diagnosis to help them get the compensation they need.

With our team's assistance, you can: 

  • File lawsuits and other legal claims for compensation
  • Get a better understanding of your medical options after a diagnosis
  • Pursue justice for the harm done to you or a loved one
  • Secure mesothelioma VA benefits

Get a Free Veterans Packet now to learn about all the ways we can help you.

Mesothelioma and Cabinet Makers FAQs

What chemicals cause mesothelioma?

The only known cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. Asbestos can cause mesothelioma if you breathe in or swallow fibers. The fibers damage the body's internal lining and cause healthy cells to become cancerous.

If you worked as a cabinet maker before the 1980s, you are at a very high risk of mesothelioma since many products used in this job contained asbestos.

What jobs expose you to asbestos?

Cabinetmaking is one of the most notable jobs that put workers at risk of asbestos exposure for decades.

This is because cabinet makers handled asbestos-containing products like veneer and particleboard on an everyday basis.

If you believe you developed mesothelioma from working with asbestos at your job or serving in the military, call (877) 450-8973. You may be eligible for financial aid, VA benefits, and medical treatments.

How much exposure do you need to asbestos to get mesothelioma?

There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos. Even being exposed just once can lead to mesothelioma later in life.

However, the risk of developing mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses is higher in people exposed to asbestos more or for longer periods, such as cabinet makers.

What is the average age of onset of mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma can appear decades after exposure to asbestos. That often means that patients aren't diagnosed until they are older.

The average age for a pleural mesothelioma diagnosis is 72.

If you or a cabinet maker you love has mesothelioma, we may be able to help you secure justice, compensation, and medical care. Get our Free Veterans Packet now to learn more.

Veterans Support Team
Christopher Dryfoos PhotoWritten by:

Contributing Author

Christopher Dryfoos is a journalist and member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). As the grandson of the U.S. Navy’s first forensic pathologist, he aims to help veterans with mesothelioma access needed care.

  1. American Cancer Society (n.d.). Key Statistics About Malignant Mesothelioma. Retrieved April 3, 2024, from
  2. Armstrong World Industries Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust. (n.d.). Overview. Retrieved April 3, 2024, from