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Synkoloid Company (ARTRA Group)

Synkoloid Company (ARTRA Group)
Synkoloid Company (ARTRA Group) ™ image registered for use in Canada in 1970

The Synkoloid Company was founded in the State of New Jersey in 1894. They concentrated on materials for the construction industry by manufacturing plaster, paint and patching compounds. They had a full range of drywall materials including bead boards and corner caps. Synko products were available in Canada starting in the 1940s.

During the post WWII baby boom when massive housing construction project were underway for veterans and their families, the Sykoloid Company started adding asbestos to their texture and fill products to increase their flexibility and decrease the weight. Raw asbestos was inexpensive for Synkoloid to purchase so adding asbestos reduced their production costs.

Products that Synkoloid acknowledges contained asbestos are:

  • Tex-Wall, manufactured from 1949 until August 1975
  • EZE-Tex, manufactured from 1949 until September 1975
  • Triple Duty Joint Compound, manufactured from 1950 until December 1975
  • Synko-Topping, manufactured from 1950 until July 1975
  • Prime 'N Fill, manufactured from 1960 until September 1975
  • Snohide, manufactured from 1962 until March 1975
  • Plastibond, manufactured from 1950 until March 1976
  • Surface Conditioner, manufactured from 1950 until March 1976
  • Vinyl Prep Mix, manufactured from 1962 until December 1975
  • Flexi Patch, manufactured from 1960 until March 1976
  • Stucco & Cement Patch, manufactured from 1950 until October 1975
  • Tex-Add, manufactured from 1950 until December 1975
  • Kool-Kap, manufactured from 1965 until January 1976
  • Vinyl Tex-Wall, manufactured from 1972 until January 1976

The dates that Synkoloid has provided for the manufacturing start dates are not the actual years of production but the patent approval dates. They were sold earlier with an indication that the patent was pending.

The above products contained high levels of asbestos and the production end date did not mean that the products were no longer available for purchase by the contractors who used them. It is estimated that it took at least three years for Synko products in circulation in the marketplace to be free of asbestos. In the cases of smaller population building supply centres selling to the public in Canada the availability of asbestos containing products may have lasted much longer.

All of the Synkoloid products listed above were applied by trowel or hand. Many were subsequently sanded when the product had dried. With no warnings on their products that asbestos was dangerous, painters, plasters, drywall finishers and other construction workers in the vicinity were placed at risk of breathing in particles of asbestos.

It was brought to the attention of management at the Synkoloid Company in the USA as early as 1969 that asbestos was dangerous, and many lawsuits had been filed against the company. Nevertheless, the ARTRA Group purchased the Synkoloid Company in 1975. ARTRA was then burdened with Synko’s asbestos liability.

The registered head office for the Synkoloid Company of Canada is on Bridge Street in Surrey, British Columbia. Synkoloid is now owned by the Muralo Company who also got dragged into the asbestos nightmare even through products made by Muralo never contained asbestos and they did not purchase Synkoloid until 1981 by which time Synko products no longer contained asbestos.

ARTRA and Muralo subsequently formed a bankruptcy trust to assess and pay personal injury claims arising from the Synkoloid Company’s use of asbestos.

If you worked in the drywall, plaster or construction trades and used Synkoloid Company products, compensation is available to you if you have subsequently developed mesothelioma. Brown Law can help you to obtain compensation if you contact us now.