Asbestos in Agricultural Fillers Exposure and Risks

Throughout much of the 20th century, some of America’s hardest workers were unknowingly exposed to a deadly carcinogen found in agricultural fillers. Decades after the dangers of asbestos finally came to light, farmers, construction workers and others who used these materials have developed mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure.

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An industrial backbone of America, agriculture is arguably one of the most important sources of livelihood for thousands of families. Farmers who work hard from dawn to dusk not only spur economic development but provide an abundance of nutrient-dense food for communities that thrive on agricultural production.

Asbestos in Agricultural Fillers Explained

Essentially, agricultural fillers refer to waste leftover from production and harvesting processes on farms. The fillers are additives that are combined with polymeric compounds to alter their chemical makeup.

Normally these fillers are created from refined plant materials like corn, berries, nuts, shell husks and grains. However, some agricultural fillers included large amounts of asbestos, leaving anyone working with these products vulnerable to lethal effects of asbestos.

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Highly favored for its resistance to heat, asbestos was an inexpensive filler popular for its flexible, durable and non-conductive properties. At the time, it was the perfect solution for many industries looking to manufacture in the cheapest, most efficient way possible.

Agricultural fillers made from asbestos were commonly used in:

  • Farm machinery and equipment
  • Pipe and furnace insulation materials
  • Asbestos shingles
  • Millboard
  • Textured paints
  • Coating materials
  • Floor tiles
  • Brake pads and linings

Agricultural fillers that contained asbestos were used in houses built before 1980. In 1977 the Consumer Product Safety Commission made it illegal for construction companies to use any products that contain asbestos.

Today, asbestos still lurks in residential and commercial properties built with agricultural fillers. Fortunately, most workers are aware of the hazards and know that the risk of asbestos only exists when fibers are disturbed and become airborne. Experienced, knowledgeable asbestos remediators are the best consultants for home or business owners unsure of how to deal with asbestos.

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Exposure to asbestos has led to thousands of mesothelioma diagnoses. If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the Mesothelioma Justice Guide will help you understand your rights and know the next steps.

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Who Was Exposed to Asbestos in Agricultural Fillers?

Unfortunately, farmers throughout a large portion of the 20th century were unknowingly exposed to large quantities of asbestos every single day. Asbestos used in farm machinery and equipment makes farming one of the many dangerous occupations related to asbestos exposure.

This risk extended to others who worked with products that were packed with asbestos-laden agricultural fillers. Construction workers were also exposed to asbestos through their daily handling of products made with agricultural fillers.

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The fillers were utilized in the construction industry for many products used to build residential and commercial properties. Like farmers, construction workers who handled products and equipment made from agricultural fillers were exposed to large amounts of asbestos over the years.

Anyone who worked with agricultural fillers in their daily line of work is at risk for developing an asbestos-related illness.

Common high-risk occupations include:

Family members of these workers could have been exposed through asbestos fibers brought into the home via clothes, shoes, hair, gloves, etc.

Health Risks of Asbestos in Agricultural Fillers

Ongoing or prolonged exposure to any form of asbestos can increase the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma, as well as non-malignant pleural disorders such as asbestosis, pleural plaques, pleural thickening and pleural effusions.

If you worked closely with asbestos products and have any of the following symptoms, please seek the counsel of a doctor:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in the chest or ribs
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Night sweats
  • Bloating or nausea
  • A persistent cough
Access Asbestos Trust Funds

Compensation for treatment, loss of income and other damages is available through Asbestos Trust Funds. Workers with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses may qualify.

Find Out If You Qualify

Seeking Justice for Asbestos Exposure

Many innocent workers were exposed to potentially deadly amounts of asbestos in seemingly safe products such as agricultural fillers. Today, these victims are suffering from tragic medical diagnoses such as pleural, peritoneal or pericardial mesothelioma.

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and have a work history of asbestos exposure, contact our Justice Support Team to find out about your legal options. Call us at (888) 360-4215 or sign up to receive a FREE Mesothelioma Justice Guide to understand the available compensation for damages and treatment costs.

Mesothelioma Support Team
Stephanie KiddWritten by:


Stephanie Kidd works tirelessly as a dedicated advocate for the vulnerable and underrepresented. Stephanie worked as a copywriter for an agency whose focus was communicating safety procedures on construction work sites. With her extensive background in victim advocacy and a dedication to seeing justice done, Stephanie works hard to ensure that all online content is reliable, truthful and helpful.

View 3 Sources
  1. PubMeds, “Asbestos and agriculture: new perspectives of risk” Retrieved from: Accessed on June 12, 2018.
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