Asbestos: Once A Danger to Aerospace Workers

President Obama’s recent reclassification of communications satellites as civilian rather than military technology may give a major boost to the struggling American aerospace industry. No doubt this is great news for current American aerospace workers. However, there were many years when airplanes full of asbestos components created hazards for workers.

From the 1940s until about 1980, certain jobs in the aerospace industry exposed large numbers of workers to asbestos. Before the fibrous mineral was definitively linked to health problems in the 1970s, it was used in countless products and across many industries, including aerospace. The aerospace industry used asbestos in many aircraft parts, primarily because of its resistance to heat, friction, and chemical damage, as well as its high tensile strength and sound insulation properties.

Products containing the material can release dust into the air. If inhaled or swallowed, asbestos can cause serious health problems, including asbestosis and the following cancers: lung, esophageal, gastrointestinal, laryngeal, and pharyngeal. It also causes mesothelioma.

Aircraft mechanics and production workers had two of the riskier jobs in the industry because of the exposure. Asbestos-containing products used in the aerospace industry prior to 1980 included:

  • Brake liners
  • Insulation 
  • Glues
  • Epoxies

On-site workers were not the only ones exposed to asbestos. Many workers returned home covered in toxic asbestos dust, unknowingly putting their loved ones at risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases. Sadly, many asbestos exposures and subsequent illnesses could have been prevented with proper safety training and protective equipment.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact Sokolove Law today for a free legal consultation about a mesothelioma lawsuit.