HOW DO WORKERS GET EXPOSED TO ASBESTOS?
Construction workers and contractors can come into contact with asbestos when they are remodeling and rehabbing the property. On buildings constructed before the 1980s, many materials and products were used which contained asbestos. Construction workers who were involved in the initial construction, or the repairs and maintenance performed, later on, we’re all at risk for exposure to asbestos. Residential buildings are often built with asbestos-containing products, including the following: joint compound, ceiling tiles, caulking, floor tiles, roofing products, electrical equipment, and HVAC equipment such as boilers, furnaces, and associated equipment.
Power plant and industrial plant workers
Asbestos is resistant to heat, electricity, and fire, which made it an attractive option for companies to use at industrial plants and power plants. Insulation for piping, fireproofing spray, and gaskets are just a few of the factory and plant elements that have contained asbestos. Furthermore, the equipment associated with piping, including pumps, valves, steam traps, turbines and boilers, contained a variety of asbestos-containing components like gaskets, rope packing, and insulating cement. Sometimes the products being manufactured also included asbestos, such as construction products, some plastics, and textiles. One study found that as many as 33% of power plant workers had asbestos particles in their mucus.
Veterans and Shipyard Workers
Military bases were frequent scenes of asbestos use, due to its lightweight, cost-effective, and fireproof nature. In fact, around 30% of mesothelioma claims are filed by Veterans. The heat-resistant properties of asbestos also made it an attractive insulating material for ships both for the Navy and for civilian use, which means that shipyard workers building and taking apart ships have likely been exposed. In addition, people that served aboard Navy ships were likely exposed to asbestos from repair work performed on asbestos-containing equipment pursuant to the preventive maintenance schedules (PMS) used by the Navy to maintain the vessels. People that worked in the engine rooms, pump rooms, and boiler rooms of Navy ships prior to the 1990s are likely to have been exposed to asbestos.