Asbestos in Crock Pots Exposure and Risks

Summary

Crock Pots reinvented cooking for American families. But versions built before the 1980s contained asbestos in several parts of the appliance. Factory workers were at risk of inhaling the hazardous asbestos fibers and later developing mesothelioma. Homemakers and entire families were also at risk of exposure by using an early-made Crock Pot.

American small appliance manufacturer Rival produced the first Crock Pots in 1971. Their arrival in kitchens around the world transformed the way families cooked dinner and shared meals. After filling the cooking chamber with raw ingredients, homemakers were free to leave the house for hours and return to a completely cooked supper.

Asbestos in Crock Pots Explained

Crock Pots were so popular and revolutionary that they earned a place in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Unfortunately, their legacy is marred by the inclusion of asbestos in production supplies for Crock Pots made before the 1980s.

Heat-resistant and lightweight, appliance companies like Rival used asbestos in different parts of the machine. Asbestos served not only to contain cooking heat but to protect other components from overheating. The inner and outer chambers, power cord and internal wiring may have contained asbestos.

A common manufacturing product in the 1970s called agricultural filler was used in Crock Pots. The filler was made of excess plant material, and asbestos was added as a fireproofing and durability agent. Agricultural fillers may have been used in the ceramic pot, insulation and power cords of Crock Pots.

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Who Was Exposed to Asbestos in Crock Pots?

The massive popularity of Crock Pots resulted in millions produced worldwide. Its modest price-point made Crock Pots accessible to many families. In particular, working mothers quickly purchased the slow cooker to simplify their dinner routine. Meanwhile, factory employees worked to keep up with the demand.

Factory Workers

Former employees of Rival and other slow cooker manufacturers may have been exposed to asbestos during production. Workers who handled Crock Pot components were at the highest risk of exposure. As asbestos fibers become airborne when disturbed, anyone else who worked at slow cooker factories was put in harm’s way.

Homemakers and Family Members

Homemakers and housekeepers who used Crock Pots were also at risk of asbestos exposure. Asbestos is generally safe when properly contained. However, damaged or cracked Crock Pots may have released brittle fibers into the air. Once airborne, the fibers pose a hazard to anyone breathing the air or eating prepared meals.

Other workers who may have been exposed to asbestos from Crock Pots include:

  • Appliance repair workers
  • Caterers
  • Restaurant cooks, cleaners and servers
  • Recycle plant workers
  • Agricultural filler producers

Health Risks of Asbestos in Crock Pots

Homemakers, workers and their families were put at risk of exposure before asbestos was banned from household appliances in 1979. Additionally, many Crock Pots built and purchased before the ban remained in American homes for years to follow.

Insulation and filler material used in appliances like Crock Pot used 2 types of asbestos:

  1. Chrysotile (white): The most common type of asbestos and used often in manufacturing supplies. Its long fibers are heat-resistant and weave easily into insulation.
  2. Crocidolite (blue): A less common but more hazardous type. Its sharp, jagged fibers easily break off and become airborne.

MJN Brief

Chrysotile and crocidolite asbestos are proven to cause mesothelioma. The disease most commonly forms by inhaling asbestos fibers, which then get stuck in the lung lining. Years later, pleural mesothelioma may develop. Former employers of Crock Pot factories might have breathed in airborne asbestos fibers at the plant.

Asbestos can also cause mesothelioma by ingesting the fibers. When using a cracked or damaged pre-1980 Crock Pot, homemakers may have inadvertently disturbed asbestos fibers and caused them to slip into food. Ingested fibers can get stuck in the abdominal lining and years later develop into peritoneal mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a serious type of cancer for which there is no known cure. When mesothelioma is caught early, patients have greater treatment options available to them that offer a better prognosis.

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

Crock Pots and other slow cookers built before the 1980s may have exposed workers, homemakers and their families to asbestos. If you developed mesothelioma and used Crock Pots or worked in a factory that produced them, you may be eligible for compensation.

If you have mesothelioma and worked with Crock Pots, contact our Justice Support Team to find out exactly how you may have been exposed. Call us at (888) 360-4215 or sign up today to receive your FREE Mesothelioma Justice Guide to understand your next steps in taking action.

View Author and Sources
Sources
  1. Abramson Cancer Center, “Types of Asbestos that Can Cause Asbestos Diseases.” Retrieved from: https://www.pennmedicine.org/cancer/types-of-cancer/mesothelioma/asbestos-cancer/types-of-asbestos. Accessed on June 6, 2018.
  2. Institute of Education Sciences | Ron Sharman, “Asbestos Training Curriculum Project.” Retrieved from: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED340866.pdf. Accessed on June 6, 2018.
  3. National Museum of American History, “Rival Crock Pot.” Retrieved from: http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_1416081. Accessed on June 6, 2018.

Last modified: June 15, 2018