Electric Power Linemen and Cablemen and Asbestos Exposure
Electric power linemen and cablemen were exposed to asbestos in many ways. Asbestos was commonly used for its insulative properties, which are highly applicable in these industries where protection against heat and electricity is paramount.
Asbestos was also used as insulation in power lines to protect both the line itself as well as the public.
It quickly became industry practice to use asbestos in power lines, and as a result, most lines and cables are assumed to contain asbestos (unless specifically stated otherwise).
Asbestos in Power Lines
Although the practice of including asbestos in power lines and cables was halted in the 1980s with the realization of the extent of asbestos’ danger, many of the lines put up before this time are still running today.
While there are ongoing efforts to replace and repair these older lines, replacement projects take time and significant effort. Also, the workers overseeing these projects are still at risk of exposure.
It’s clear to see that the asbestos-related hazards for power linemen and cablemen are not yet things of the past.
As well as being present in power lines and cables, asbestos was used in hydropower plants, insulating generators, and turbines. It was also sprayed on conduits and pipes.
In addition to these industry-specific uses, asbestos exposure for electric power linemen and cablemen could have come from any one of its general uses, from ceiling insulation and fireproof coatings to its presence in construction materials such as concrete and bricks.