Today’s auto mechanics continue to face the risks associated with exposure to asbestos. It has been estimated that around 6 million auto mechanics have been exposed to asbestos from brake dust since 1940, and these exposures have contributed to almost 600 asbestos-related deaths each year. When asbestos is disturbed, it releases tiny fibers and dust into the surrounding air which, when inhaled, can cause health issues including asbestosis and mesothelioma.
A number of automobile parts were manufactured with asbestos because of its unique resistance to heat, friction, chemical damage, electrical damage, and its tensile strength. Even today’s auto mechanics should pay careful attention when servicing older vehicles released when asbestos use was still prominent.
Here’s a list of some top asbestos-containing products for auto mechanics to watch for in older vehicles:
• heat-sealing materials
• hood liners
• valve rings
Repairing brakes and clutches poses the greatest danger because during normal use, brakes and clutches wear down and release asbestos dust. The dust gets trapped in the brake housing or clutch compartment and the asbestos dust can get released during routine service, allowing for exposure.
Have you or a loved one possibly been exposed to asbestos at your workplace? An asbestos attorney may be able to help.