Asbestos Exposure in the Workplace
Asbestos exposure is common among those who work in the trades or do manual labor. Discuss your work history with your doctor if you fall into one of the high risk categories listed below. This will keep your doctor on the alert for symptoms of asbestos–related diseases, which often take decades to develop after the initial asbestos exposure (see asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer for details).
If your asbestos exposure took place during the course of private employment, you may be eligible to file a workers' compensation claim. You may also have a case against the manufacturer of the asbestos product involved. To learn more about workers' compensation options, visit the asbestos workers' compensation section.
Additional Information About High Risk Jobs
The following list of trades have a high incidence of asbestos exposure. More specific information about asbestos exposure on the following jobs can be found at Asbestos Network.
Insulators, laggers, asbestos workers or any other people who worked extensively around asbestos insulation, are especially at risk for the development of an asbestos related disease. Common products that insulators worked with are:
- asbestos pipe covering,
- asbestos block insulation,
- asbestos containing cement,
- asbestos lagging,
- asbestos clothe, or
- Zonolite Attic Insulation.
Those who were involved with the building or maintenance of ships typically breathed high doses of airborne asbestos. Commonly used around boilers, turbines, engines, valves, other equipment, and steam pipes, asbestos insulation becomes air borne during simple routine maintenance.
Power Plants, Refineries and Industrial Settings
Power plants, refineries and industrial settings are jobsites where asbestos was used extensively on piping and all types of equipment.
Asbestos products were used extensively in both home and commercial construction. Fireproofing, insulation, joint compounds, plaster and patching compounds are just a few of the commonly used products that contained asbestos. Plumbers and pipefitters are also at risk—exposed through asbestos laden cement pipes, gaskets and packing, and deteriorating asbestos insulation and pipe covering.
Pipefitters and Plumbers
Miners of asbestos, talc and vermiculite are at significant risk for heavy asbestos exposure and asbestos disease. Large amounts of asbestos dust, poor ventilation and lack of proper breathing protection were contributing factors to the high incidence of mesothelioma in the Iron Range miners.
The textile industry used asbestos in heat resistant products like heat–resistant pads, asbestos gloves, and woven into cloth coverings and protective blankets.
There was extensive use of asbestos in brake pads and shoes, as well as asbestos clutch discs and linings. For auto mechanics and shade-tree mechanics (do-it-yourselfers), the danger from asbestos resides in asbestos fibers becoming airborne during brake, clutch, and gasket installation, removal, blowout, cleanup and inspection.
The high heat output of steam and diesel locomotives made them a perfect candidate for the heat resistant properties of asbestos heat insulation. Boilers, steam pipes, hot water lines and refrigeration units were common applications of asbestos heat wrap and insulation. Regular maintenance involved the removal and replacement of asbestos insulation; exposing workers to airborne asbestos fibers.
Appliance shops, where older asbestos–containing consumer products are dismantled and repaired.
Helping Those With Asbestos & Work Related Injuries
Our asbestos attorneys have helped asbestos victims for over 30 years. If asbestos exposure has affected you and you are suffering from an asbestos–related disease, contact our team of asbestos attorneys to learn more about how we can help you.