People who have worked in the building and remodeling fields and those who have worked on ships and in shipyards are often considered most at risk of developing serious health conditions caused by asbestos exposure. However, asbestos was used in many products before it was largely banned in the 1980s.
That includes cars and other vehicles — in part because of its ability to resist heat. Unfortunately, automakers continued to use asbestos long past the point where it was determined to be dangerous.
Multiple vehicle parts contained asbestos
People who work in restoring and repairing classic and vintage cars have likely been exposed to asbestos. It was used in brake pads and linings, transmission parts, clutch discs, gaskets, hood linings, upholstery and more.
If your only exposure to the inner workings of a classic car was helping your dad restore a Corvette Stingray one summer, you aren’t at as much risk of developing mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illness as someone who worked in a classic car restoration or repair business. However, if you inherited that car and some of the old parts are still in it, it’s wise to let a professional work on it in the future. The microscopic fibers cling to clothing and other surfaces. They are dangerous when inhaled or ingested, so you need to protect yourself.
Classic car repair requires serious protective measures
Today, now that the dangers of asbestos exposure are more fully understood, mechanics are supposed to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) like Tyvek suits and go through a decontamination process at the end of their shift. Employees are expected to be properly trained on how to avoid dangerous asbestos exposure.
If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma or another asbestos-related condition, it’s important to determine who bears responsibility and your options for compensation. An experienced attorney can help.