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Plumbers at Risk for Asbestos Exposure

If you or someone you love works as a plumber, you might be surprised to learn that you are at high risk for asbestos exposure on the job.


Plumbers are often exposed to asbestos during construction or home improvement-related operations. Plumbers can come into contact with a number of asbestos-containing materials while on the job, including:

  • asbestos cement water and sewer pipes
  • flue pipes
  • gaskets
  • running rope
  • plumbers' putty

And it is not just professional plumbers who are at risk. Those that attempt DIY fixes or upgrades must familiarize themselves with asbestos-containing products for their safety. Since many asbestos-containing products are not labeled as such, it should be assumed that it is present in different materials plumbers come into contact with. Proper sampling and testing is required to confirm it is safe to proceed with the job.

One instance in which plumbers are likely to come into contact with asbestos is during the replacement of plumbing pipes that are wrapped with asbestos-containing pipe covering. Over time, these products can break down and deteriorate, releasing asbestos fibers into the air, where they can be breathed in by plumbers. The risk for exposure increases if the plumber disturbs them.

Breathing in asbestos fibers for prolonged periods of time can lead to deadly respiratory diseases. Plumbers have been diagnosed with asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and more after being exposed to the substance repeatedly while at work. If you are plumber or a retired plumber that has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced asbestos attorney today.

Sources: | Contractors State License Board

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