When people hear the phrase “asbestos exposure” they commonly think of heavy industry, mining or construction. Unfortunately, countless individuals in numerous occupations run the risk of deadly exposure.
Due to the heat-resistant and fire-resistant properties of the material, asbestos fibers were used in the manufacture of countless products. From construction materials such as steam pipes, roofing tiles and floor tiles to consumer products and vehicle parts, asbestos was universally seen as a life-saving product. Unfortunately, the costs ultimately outweighed the benefits.
One of the most overlooked professions is auto mechanic. A vintage automobile commonly uses several parts containing asbestos, including:
- Air hoses
- Clutches and clutch facings
- Heat seals
- Hood liners
- Valve rings
Essentially, any piece of the automobile that would have been constructed to withstand intense heat or even a fire, would likely have relied on the addition of the mineral asbestos. Elements of the body construction as well as various engine components could contain asbestos. As these parts deteriorate, they release asbestos fibers that can be inhaled or ingested. Additionally, parts requiring cutting, trimming, grinding or drilling to improve a fit would also release asbestos fibers into the air.
Whether working on the vehicle in an auto body shop, in a manufacturing plant or in your personal garage doing restoration, exposure to asbestos is a health risk. Asbestos exposure can lead to asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma. It is crucial to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney who can answer your questions and provide the representation you need.