Before asbestos was banned in the 1970s, many jobs involved regularly coming into contact with parts or other materials that contained asbestos. Even after companies stopped using asbestos, many job sites still contained asbestos materials that could lead to serious and potentially deadly health problems.
Long-term or high-level exposure to asbestos can put workers at risk of developing several diseases, including mesothelioma cancer, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
If you or a loved one worked at one of the following professions that often involved exposure to asbestos, you may be eligible to receive a free health examination to determine if you are suffering from an asbestos-related disease.
Call toll-free at 1-855-500-3734 or fill out the contact form on this page to find out more about receiving your free asbestos test.
9/11 First Responders
The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 released about 2,000 tons of asbestos into the air around the World Trade Center buildings. Firefighters and other first responders, search and rescue workers, or anyone who was within 1.5 miles of the World Trade Center when the attacks occurred are at risk of developing mesothelioma or other diseases because of the high quantities of asbestos to which they were exposed on 9/11.
Before the 1980s, many airplanes contained brakes, electrical insulation and wiring, engine heat shields, heating systems, gaskets, valves, and other parts that were made from asbestos. Some of the adhesives and epoxies that were used to repair airplanes also contained asbestos. Mechanics who repaired commercial, private, or military planes that were equipped with asbestos parts may be at risk of developing asbestos cancers or other diseases.
Many of the brakes, clutches, rotors, and other auto parts that were used for decades in older cars and trucks contained asbestos. When these parts are disturbed or damaged during normal vehicle wear – or during beveling or “blowing-out” brakes – asbestos particles can become airborne, putting auto workers at risk of exposure. The poor ventilation in many auto repair shops further increased the risk of asbestos exposure for auto mechanics.
Boilermakers & Boiler Workers
Nearly all heated parts of commercial boilers were surrounded by asbestos insulation, including asbestos insulation around the boiler’s walls and tubes, asbestos air cell insulation around internal pipes, asbestos cement for the stove or other parts, even asbestos ropes or paraffin wax around the steam lines. Boilermakers who helped manufacture these commercial boilers or workers who used boilers at factories, power plants, refineries, ships, schools, or other job sites face significantly increased risks of lung cancer, mesothelioma, or other diseases.
Construction workers are about five times more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma because of asbestos found in drywall, masonry, paint, roof shingles, spackle, tile, and other materials. Asbestos was phased out of these materials after the 1970s. However, because these products may still be present in older homes and buildings, asbestos exposure is still a serious risk for many construction and home repair workers, including:
Many of the adhesives and concretes that were once used to lay bricks contained asbestos. Cutting and trimming bricks or blocks that were mixed using asbestos could also expose bricklayers to airborne asbestos.
Because of the dangers of remodeling older buildings and homes with asbestos, carpenters are 34-times more likely to develop mesothelioma or other asbestos cancers than the general population.
Insulating cements, drywall cements, and roof cement were once mixed using asbestos, putting finishers who work with these materials in older structures at risk of diseases caused by asbestos exposure.
Because of the wide range of jobs performed by housing contractors, they are at risk of exposure to nearly all types of asbestos materials that may be present in older homes and buildings.
Electricians who perform repairs or remodels on older structures may be exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos materials. Electricians are among the highest risk professions for mesothelioma or other asbestos diseases.
Laborers often work directly with asbestos, handling bricks, cement, drywall, insulation, roofing, or other asbestos materials, which puts them at risk of becoming sick with asbestos-related illnesses.
Plasters and other construction materials used by lathers to build or repair arches, ceilings, walls, and other structures may contain asbestos, putting them in danger from the health risks related to asbestos exposure.
The bricks, stones, and blocks made by masonry workers were once mixed using asbestos. Masons who prepared or installed these building materials may have been exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos.
Millwrights install and repair large, heat-generating machines like boilers, generators, and turbines that were among the largest sources of industrial asbestos, putting them at risk of mesothelioma or other illnesses.
Many paints used on ships, bridges, homes, or office buildings were made with asbestos. Working with asbestos paints could lead to exposure, making painters a high-risk groups for developing asbestos diseases.
Asbestos was used in plasters for decades to increase the fire resistance of walls and other structures. Plasterers who prepared or worked with these materials in older buildings were regularly exposed to asbestos.
Asbestos asphalt cutback or emulsions used to be sprayed on finished rooftops. Roofers who worked with these sprays or who tore out older roofs may developed illnesses as a result of asbestos exposure.
Tile Setters & Installers
The grouts and caulks that were once used in floor and ceiling tiles contained dangerous levels of asbestos. Workers who installed or renovated asbestos tiling in older buildings may be at risk of serious health problems.
Demolition workers are often hired to tear down older buildings or homes that may be contaminated with asbestos materials. After the demolition is complete, these workers are often responsible for disposing of asbestos-contaminated debris. The demolition of older structures often disturbs the asbestos materials that are inside the building, putting workers at high risk of mesothelioma or other diseases as a result of asbestos exposure.
Many factories during the mid-20th century contained insulation or smaller machine parts with asbestos. The process or working with these asbestos materials placed workers at an increased risk of mesothelioma or other diseases caused by asbestos exposure. Even office workers, clerical workers, and foremen who did not work directly with asbestos were still at risk of exposure because of the poor ventilation in these factories.
Farmers & Agricultural Workers
Many older farming machines and equipment contained parts that were manufactured with asbestos. Asbestos was also sometimes found in the materials used to construct barns, pens, sheds, silos, and other buildings used by farmers and agricultural workers. In some cases, asbestos was even present in the soil. All of these sources of asbestos increase the risk that farm workers may be diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or other asbestos diseases.
Firefighters have a much higher risk of developing mesothelioma or other asbestos diseases because of asbestos materials that are found in many older homes and buildings. Although firefighters wear protective equipment that helps protect them from asbestos, when this gear is not properly cleaned or maintained, asbestos exposure may occur. Firefighters who worked decades ago may face an even higher risk of diseases caused by asbestos.
Hairdressers & Beauty Salon Workers
Before asbestos was banned and discontinued in the 1970s and 1980s, many hairdressers regularly worked with hand-held or hood-style hairdryers that contained asbestos insulation. Hairdressers who used with these older hairdryers over an extended period may be at risk of developing mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, or other asbestos-related diseases.
Workers who operated machines in industrial facilities where asbestos materials were present may be at risk of developing mesothelioma or other disease. Formen who supervised these workers were also at risk of diseases caused by asbestos exposure. Nearly all companies that operated industrial facilities before the 1970s allowed materials or used parts in these facilities that contained asbestos.
Metal workers – including blacksmiths, forge men, foundry workers, iron workers, lathers, sheet metal workers, smelters, structural craftsmen, tinsmiths, welders – often wore protective clothing that contained asbestos. Many of these professions also involved working at jobsites or with materials that contained dangerous levels of asbestos. Because of these risks, metal workers are three times more likely than the general population to die from mesothelioma cancer.
Veterans who served in the U.S. Navy or Merchant Marines during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, or other 20th century conflicts may have been exposed to asbestos. Many naval ships were built using asbestos materials, including asbestos parts in engine rooms and boilers rooms. Boiler technicians, fire control technicians, machinist’s mates, pipe fitters, and water tenders faced the highest risk of asbestos exposure. Veterans who served at naval shipyards and drydocks were also regularly exposed to asbestos.
Pipefitters & Pipe Coverers
Pipe coverers who cut asbestos sheets, fabricated and fit asbestos cloth around pipes, or layed asbestos cement were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. Pipefitters who worked around boilers, refrigerators, tanks, or other equipment with pipes that were covered by asbestos were also exposed. Although asbestos was no longer used in pipes after the 1980s, workers who come into contact with older pipes may still be at risk of being exposed to asbestos.
Asbestos materials were commonly found with pipes in homes or commercial buildings. Plumbers who carried out repairs on older pipes in these buildings may have been regularly exposed to asbestos, putting them at risk of developing mesothelioma or other asbestos diseases. Plumbers who work in buildings where asbestos was recently removed may also face a high risk of exposure when asbestos cleanups are performed poorly.
Between the 1930s and 1970s, many trains and railroad facilities in the U.S. were built using asbestos parts or materials. Conductors, maintenance equipment operators, tracklayers, train engineers, train operators, yardmasters, and other railroad workers who worked during this time – or who still work with trains built during this period – may be at risk of exposure to dangerous levels of asbestos that can cause them to develop mesothelioma, asbestosis, or other diseases.
Many high schools, middle schools, elementary schools, and colleges that were built during the 20th century contained insulation, soundproofing, or other materials with asbestos. Although schools are no longer built using asbestos materials, many older buildings still contain dangerous levels of these products that can put teachers, school administrators, and other educational workers at risk of developing mesothelioma cancer or other asbestos diseases.
Learn More About Receiving a Free Asbestos Health Exam
If you or a loved one worked in a profession that involved exposure to asbestos materials or working at job sites where asbestos was present, you may be eligible to receive a free health examination to find out whether you may have developed mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, or other illnesses caused by asbestos.
To find out more about how you can receive free asbestos testing, contact the lawyers at Hissey, Mulderig & Friend by calling us toll-free at 1-855-500-3734.
You can also send us a message by answering a few short questions in the free contact form located on the top left side of this page.
After we receive your message, one of our staff members will contact you to obtain any additional information that we need and help schedule your free asbestos health exam.