Whether you are an employed auto mechanic or an at home DIYer, repairing vehicles can be a dangerous task. Given that asbestos was used in brake and clutch assemblies, gaskets, and mufflers within older vehicles, mechanics risk exposure to the substance when they work with these parts.
While asbestos has been largely phased out of newer automobile parts, it can still be found in some replacement brakes and clutches, and many older vehicles still have asbestos in these components.
As mentioned on our website, when brakes and clutches wear down, asbestos fibers become trapped within the brake housing or clutch space. Mechanics are often exposed to these fibers when they open up and use compressed air to blow out the housing to repair the component. This action releases asbestos fibers into the mechanic’s breathing zone.
Breathing in asbestos fibers can lead to terrible, often fatal, diseases and cancers. Asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma are just three of the illnesses that can develop within automobile mechanics. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has regulations put in place to ensure safety in the workplace, but DIY mechanics may not receive the proper training and information to stay safe from exposure.
It is not uncommon for a mechanic to seek compensation for medical bills, time lost at work, and more after being diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. Many employers of mechanics and asbestos companies that manufactured automobile parts have been found guilty of negligence, disregard for safety, and more.