Jobs that Exposed Workers to Asbestos

The top cause for people developing mesothelioma cancer is from occupational asbestos exposure. When workers are repeatedly exposed to asbestos during their work, it puts them at an increased risk for many types of cancer and pulmonary diseases.

Asbestos is a natural mineral found in fibrous form. It is resistant to electricity, heat, chemicals and water. During the 20th century, asbestos was a key element in thousands of households as well as commercial products, and things used in construction. Products with asbestos include sealants, fireproof coatings, paints, cement and concrete, joint compound, bricks, roofing, pipes, flooring, gaskets drywall, insulation, and more exposed workers to asbestos.

Construction Workers
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has determined individuals who work in the construction industry have some of the highest rates of exposure to asbestos. It is estimated over 1.2 million individuals who work in the construction industry have contact with asbestos each year. This often happens when construction workers work on homes and buildings where asbestos is utilized as a form of fire retardant. Plaster, floor tiles, siding, as well as joint compound and more are products that have asbestos.

Individuals who work as auto mechanics, aircraft mechanics or heavy equipment mechanics will regularly come into contact with asbestos. This happens when performing work on friction parts including brakes and more. Most manufacturers have eliminated using brake parts that contain asbestos, but those who work as mechanics are still exposed to it. This happens when they work on older vehicles or utilize automotive products that have been imported.

HVAC Workers
This includes pipe fitters, boilermakers and HVAC workers. During their job, they may have to work inside tight spaces where asbestos is present or was present. This includes large boilers, public buildings as well as residential dwellings and more. It is possible for individuals who work in this industry to have regular exposure to significant concentrations of airborne asbestos fibers. This happens when they are repairing decades-old boilers as well as doing installations and regular maintenance.

Firefighting is an occupation with a significant possibility to experience airborne asbestos fibers. The reason is that older buildings and homes likely contain a variety of asbestos products. These could be everything from roofing materials to tiling, insulation as well as a variety of consumer goods. Studies have been conducted that show a firefighter is two times more likely to develop mesothelioma than a member of the general public.

Oil Refinery Workers
Workers in the petroleum or oil industry have a job processing oils and fuels Americans use daily. This includes kerosene, gasoline, plastics, paraffin, diesel fuels and more. These workers are regularly exposed to the asbestos located in thermal insulation, old electrical products, protective clothing, cement and more. Research has shown these workers have a long period of exposure to asbestos. They also have some of the highest rates of death from mesothelioma.

These individuals are at risk of experiencing asbestos fibers from their extended frequent and prolonged use of hair dryers. These machines contain mineral as an insulator. Today, asbestos is no longer used when hair dryers are manufactured. Studies have illustrated how hair dryers manufactured before the late 1970s released toxic fibers into the air where they were used.

Industrial Workers
These are individuals who work in power plants as well as factories. They work in places where there are chemicals being used and exposure to high heat is common. They could come into contact with asbestos when handling valves, refractory products, gaskets and more. This exposure also includes the use of protective clothing worn. More individuals who work in an industrial occupation have mesothelioma as a cause of their death when compared to most other occupations.

Shipyard Workers
When building or repairing ships, a shipyard worker will often come into contact with materials that contain asbestos. Asbestos material is found in many places on a ship to deal with the danger of fire when the ship is out in the water. It could be found on valves, asbestos insulation, pipe covering and more. Shipyard workers also have a high risk of developing mesothelioma.

Asbestos Exposure
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) estimates over 26 million workers were exposed to asbestos in the workplace between 1940 and 1979. According to the World Health Organization, more than 124 million individuals around the world have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates between 2005 and 2014 over 40,000 individuals died due to malignant mesothelioma. Approximately 69 percent of the deaths were associated with their profession.

The use of asbestos has declined. It is still legally permitted to be used in small amounts for certain products. This includes vehicle parts, building materials and more. Today, it is possible to see the legal consequences for companies when their workplace environments exposed workers to asbestos.

Robert SteinbergJobs that Exposed Workers to Asbestos