Occupational Asbestos Exposure: Five facts you must know

Occupational Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos is a dangerous material exposure that is detrimental to one’s health. In fact, several health conditions have been linked to asbestos exposure, especially lung diseases. 

What is Asbestos & Where is it found?

Six natural fibers make up asbestos. Threads of this type are known for their strength and chemical resistance. Manufacturing and construction industries have used asbestos to:

  • Reinforce cement and plastics.
  • Insulate the building.
  • The construction of fireproof buildings, military vehicles, and textiles.
  • The ability to absorb sound.
  1. Asbestos fibers can be white, green, gray, brown, or blue. US manufacturers commonly use chrysotile fibers.
  1. North America has mined and used asbestos since the late 1800s. Manufacturers began using it more during World War II. As a result, many building products contain asbestos, including:
  • Siding, roofing, and asbestos shingles.
  • Electrical wire casings.
  • Joint compounding and patching.
  • Insulation for ducts, pipes, and furnaces.
  • Adhesives for floor tiles.
  • Soundproofing material.
  1. Asbestos is also present in a variety of household products, including:
  • Artificial ash or ember used in a gas-fired fireplace.
  • Car brake pads, linings, and clutch facings.
  • Paints, coatings, adhesives, and some plastics.
  • Consumer garden products and attic insulation containing vermiculite.

Exposure to Asbestos at Work

  1. There is still asbestos in buildings, roads, trains, homes, automobiles, ships, and textile factories. 

Asbestos exposure at work is the leading cause of mesothelioma. The United States regulates it but does not ban it. EPA is addressing the risks associated with new and legacy asbestos products. 

Therefore, workers exposed to asbestos are at risk of developing cancer and severe lung diseases. So, if you or a loved one is suffering from such conditions, you should claim compensation with the aid of legal experts at the Sokolove Law firm to help you get your legal right. 

Because of the rising numbers of occupational cancer patients in the US, the government has been proactively working on introducing rules and regulations that bind employers to be responsible for the health and safety of the employees. 

GAA -Global Asbestos Audits is an environmental consulting and auditing firm that works with all capital cities and regional councils throughout the world.

A toxic substance and disease registry estimates that 27 million workers were exposed to asbestos between 1940 and 1979. 

In recent years, regulations have reduced the risk of exposure in the workplace, but many occupations remain at risk.

  1. A study reveals that occupational exposure to asbestos over the recommended limit decreased between 1987 and 1994, dropping to 4.3% from 2000 to 2003. However, despite the decrease in numbers, workers are still at risk of developing asbestos-related diseases

Some of the most susceptible professions are:

Occupations at Highest Risk of Asbestos Exposure

Workers in the construction industry.

Asbestos is still used in roofing and floor covering materials. Consequently, construction workers on new projects are at risk. 

Similarly, demolition crews and home renovators are among the most susceptible to exposure because up until the mid-1980s, asbestos was found in thousands of products used in construction.

The Firefighters

Despite asbestos’ fireproofing properties, fire damage can still cause asbestos fibers to become airborne after a fire. In addition, firefighters’ clothing, helmets, and boots contained asbestos.

In the aftermath of 9/11, many firefighters were exposed to toxic minerals.

Maritime Worker

Navy veterans and government shipyard workers file nearly 30% of mesothelioma lawsuits.

Today, shipyard workers face the most significant risk of asbestos exposure by handling old materials, demolition, repair, and decommissioning. 

Additionally, boiler workers and construction workers have historically been exposed to high levels of asbestos.

In multiple asbestos-related lawsuits, juries awarded shipyard workers multimillion-dollar verdicts.

Aerospace Mechanics

Aircraft mechanics may have been exposed to asbestos when servicing various aircraft systems. Landing gear and brake systems are most commonly found to contain asbestos. 

For example, the asbestos content of some aircraft brakes was as high as 23%. Therefore, mechanics who worked around these systems may have been exposed to asbestos.


In the 20th century, asbestos was mined for decades because it is a naturally occurring mineral. These mines exposed workers to asbestos daily. It is possible that asbestos mining and packaging workers inhaled the mineral. 

As a result, lung cancer and mesothelioma among asbestos miners are incredibly high. Some asbestos products were used in other mines, like coal mines.

Worker in the Industrial Sector

New asbestos products, like brake pads and gaskets, may contact industrial workers, including mechanics, chemical workers, supervisors, and machinery operators.

Among the most at risk of exposure in the industry are industrial insulators. Fireproofing, insulation, gaskets, and textile workers were exposed to asbestos in the paper industry.

Energy Plant Workers

Researchers found asbestos in the mucus of 33% of power plant workers. Power plant workers remain exposed to asbestos while cutting old pipes.

Asbestos was most commonly found in heat-resistant products. For example, they were fireproofing sprays and pipes.

Final Words

Asbestos exposure at work is a leading cause of lung and pulmonary diseases in the US. If someone in your family is experiencing symptoms of such conditions, you should immediately see your health expert and get diagnosed with asbestos exposure. 

Occupational asbestos exposure is not safe. Workers of all types are at risk of asbestos-related diseases, including those listed above. Therefore, those workers who believe they were exposed to asbestos at work should seek medical attention and contact OSHA for claims.

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