At risk occupations for asbestos exposure: Are you or your parents on this list?
Occupations that placed people at risk of asbestos exposure are not limited to construction and mining. Other occupations that are less obviously associated with asbestos can also place people in harm’s way. For example, asbestos miners come in direct contact with asbestos and so are considered to be working in a high risk occupation for developing an asbestos-related disease. Sculptors who worked with asbestos plaster on a daily basis are also at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease, although sculptor is not commonly listed as one of the occupations with the highest risk.
Weitz & Luxenberg believes that no one should be poisoned unknowingly by their occupation. We have compiled this list covering common and uncommon at risk occupations for asbestos exposure. If you, or a member of your family, became ill because of work-related asbestos exposure we would like to help. Weitz & Luxenberg can guide you through the process of pursuing financial compensation for your illness. The compensation you could receive can pay for all of your medical expenses, as well as provide you and your family with long-lasting financial security.
To get started, contact our firm by filling out the form on this page.
Occupations that put workers at risk of asbestos exposure (ATSDR)
- Carpenters – Carpenters are at a particularly high risk because of asbestos boards and drywall. Carpenters often had to cut materials that contained asbestos using mechanical saws. Even a dash of asbestos fibers can cause mesothelioma cancer, and carpenters could produce handfuls of this dust in a day.
- Construction workers/Laborers/Ironworkers – these jobs were important in building the foundation of modern American, but unfortunately, they also put people in constant contact with asbestos. Construction often involved asbestos insulation, and the iron beams used contained asbestos, as well. At times, asbestos was used in a spray form, and some of these workers were in charge of administering the substance wherever it was needed. A vast majority of these jobs were done without the use of protective respiratory gear.
- Electricians – During their work, electricians needed to get behind walls where there wires of a home or business are located. Unfortunately, that is also where the asbestos was located. Stringing wires along the inside of homes put many electricians at serious risk of disturbing the asbestos insulation. Once asbestos is disturbed, it can be breathed, and that is when electricians are at risk of developing deadly diseases such as mesothelioma cancer.
- Pipefitters – To protect pipes, pipefitters and plumbers wrapped them in asbestos. This would keep them from freezing. Pipefitters would need to take raw asbestos insulation and manually wrap pipes with it. Because prior to the 1970’s no one knew that asbestos was dangerous, pipefitters thought nothing of, say, wiping their nose with an asbestos-covered glove. Both pipefitters and steamfitters are considered to be very high risk occupations for asbestos exposure.
- Painters – Prior to the 1970’s many of the tools used by painters contained asbestos. This included paints and wall coating. Also, painters would sometimes work over asbestos materials. Whether it was siding, asbestos drywall, or shingles, every time a painter needed to apply a coat over an asbestos material he or she was at risk.
- Roofers – Shingles and other roofing materials contained asbestos. Roofers needed to nail in the shingles or cut materials to specific lengths and doing this would disturb the asbestos. When asbestos is disturbed, dust particles are released into the air. A roofer could inhale these dangerous particles without even releasing it.
- Engineers – Engineers working prior to the 1970’s most likely came in contact with asbestos at one point or another. Many engineers worked on developing new ways to use asbestos in order to build better machines or devices. Construction engineers often worked near (or visited) the jobsites of which they were in charge. When building establishments prior to the 1970’s, it was common to use asbestos in the process.
- Longshoremen/Navy veterans – Any occupation that involved contact with ships put people at risk of asbestos exposure. Asbestos was used heavily in shipbuilding. Because the asbestos on ships was not covered up as it would be in a house or building, people ran the risk of disturbing it more easily. A US Navy veteran who worked on boilers in the Vietnam war said commented that asbestos would shake onto his bed when the guns fired.
“I worked inside the boilers for six months…hammering away at the asbestos walls...nothing but dust everywhere. I remember coming out of the boiler and blowing my nose...it was full of black carbon and dust," said John, a boilerman for the US navy.
- Machinists/Factory workers – Asbestos was used to insulate and fireproof machines. This was done, ironically, to protect workers as well as maximize the efficiency of the machines.
- Building inspectors – Even though building inspectors were not involved in the construction or demolition of a building, they still needed to walk through many different establishments on a daily basis. Sometimes, these establishments would be very old, falling apart, or not up to code. While inspecting a building in poor shape, he or she could be involuntarily exposed to asbestos.
- Miners – Miners, especially asbestos miners, are at extremely high risks of asbestos exposure. Before the 1970’s, American miners were not given the proper gear to protect themselves from asbestos exposure.
- Artists – Certain art supplies such as plaster contained asbestos. Regardless of what material a sculptor wishes to make into a work of art, plaster was often used as a mold. Artists working in jewelry, papier-mâché, and print-making also ran the risk of exposure to asbestos (McCann, 1992).
Many occupations were associated with asbestos, and only a few knew the hazards
Only the companies involved in the mining, manufacturing, distributing, and selling of the asbestos had the information about the hazards of asbestos exposure – and only those in charge. Summer Simpson, the president of the asbestos giant Raybestos-Manhattan said in 1935, “I think the less said about asbestos the better off we are.” (Roggli, 1992)
For decades, these companies hid the truth from people like yourself as well as your parents and grandparents (EWG).
It is our job to help you
Weitz & Luxenberg has been helping individuals such as yourself for over twenty years. It is our mission to make sure that those who are suffering from asbestos-related diseases pursue monetary compensation.
Major asbestos companies intentionally withheld the truth about the dangers of asbestos, and that makes them liable for your illness. The compensation you can receive from these companies can get you out of debt, provide for you family, and make sure you experience the best possible quality of life under the circumstances.
For more information, simply fill out the form located on this page. After you submit the form, we will get in contact with you within 24 hours.
McCann, Michael, Artist beware: the Hazards in Working with all Art and Craft Materials and the Precautions Every Artists and Craftsperson Should Take, 1992: http://books.google.com/books?id=1sD0WTbbdm4C&pg=PA111&lpg=PA111&dq=artist+asbestos+exposure&source=bl&ots=iLyoTgJu16&sig=_NQUIPOArzv8JhDvMlYasGX57-4&hl=en&ei=3yOjTbPpAsXJgQeMmODaBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=artist%20asbestos%20exposure&f=false
Roggli, Victor L., Pathology of asbestos-associated diseases, 1992: http://books.google.com/books?id=rR4ewu4IfmsC&pg=PA361&lpg=PA361&dq=%22I+think+the+less+said+about+asbestos,+the+better+off+we+are%22&source=bl&ots=Os8J77PbvN&sig=nK3Mx60PzCmY6e6jF4GC7YVn5VQ&hl=en&ei=PyajTbzwDofJgQeJm63aBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=%22I%20think%20the%20less%20said%20about%20asbestos%2C%20the%20better%20off%20we%20are%22&f=false