Congoleum Corporation/Congoleum Canada Limited
In December of 1919 the Congoleum Company registered this ™ in Canada for use on their line of floor coverings. The company was incorporated in Philadelphia, while much of its production took place in New Jersey. The founder of Congoleum was Michael Nairn who originally operated the business as Nairn Linoleum. When he brought his oilcloth craft to North America from Scotland, he brought with him his link to his asbestos supplier in the African Congo which lead to his choice of the corporate name, Congoleum.
Congoleum was the first manufacturer of asbestos tiles to offer a no-wax option. Sales of their flooring products took a leap until other manufacturing companies caught up with the technology.
Congoleum Canada Limited made asphalt asbestos tile and vinyl floor covering at its manufacturing facility at 3700 St. Patrick Street in Montreal, Quebec. The Congoleum Company, unlike Armstrong, concentrated on flooring and all products relating to flooring installation including adhesives. Low grade, short strand, asbestos was added to flooring products to add durability in both the product itself as well as the felt that was laid beneath vinyl sheet flooring. Congoleum Canada had its own Gold Seal ™ as pictured here, registered in 1953.
While other manufacturers did not disclose the asbestos content in products, Congoleum labeled their products as containing asbestos. What Cogoleum did not do was include a warning that cutting, scraping or sanding their flooring products would release asbestos into the air and it was necessary to protect against breathing in that dangerous dust.
Congoleum products were labeled Congoleum, Congoleum-Nairn, Narin or simply Gold Seal and were widely available at flooring centres and building yards throughout Canada. A wide range of colours and patterns appealed to both the residential and commercial customer. A gradual shift away from tile to sheet flooring took place in the 1970 with many asbestos tiles being scrapped out of homes and buildings with no respiratory protection in order to update the flooring.
Do-It-Yourself homeowners as well as trade professionals involved with the installation of or removing flooring that contained asbestos are at risk for developing asbestos related diseases including mesothelioma. Some Congoleum products contained asbestos until 1983 and may still be found in many properties.
If your home was built before 1984 it should be assumed that there will be some materials in your property that contained asbestos and testing should be done before a renovation project is started.
If you live in Canada and have been diagnosed with an asbestos disease, please contact us for more information on how to seek compensation.