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10 High-Risk Occupations for Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma

Even though every occupation has perks and privileges, some occupations are riskier than others. However, being a family man, one has to choose the sector they intend to work in carefully as being in a dangerous field can also put your family at risk.

There was a time in the past when asbestos was widely used in many industries. Despite being a hazardous material, you can still find the mineral in construction materials and worker items today. Therefore, people who work with asbestos are at a higher risk for developing mesothelioma or other asbestos-related cancers. In addition, occupational asbestos exposure can be dangerous. Firefighters, power plant workers, construction workers, and industrial workers are among the occupations at risk for mesothelioma. 

Firefighters

Asbestos fibers are most likely to come into touch with firefighters. When firefighters tackle fires in homes and structures built before 1980, they are exposed to asbestos. Many different asbestos materials are commonly found in these constructions. Insulation, tiling, and roofing materials are all examples of asbestos-containing products. Studies show firefighters are twice as likely as the general public to get mesothelioma. The increased risk is primarily due to repeated exposure during emergencies. As a result, they inhaled asbestos and progressive diseases such as mesothelioma.

Construction workers

Like firefighters, construction workers are at a high risk of developing diseases caused by asbestos. Even data shows that many mesothelioma veterans belonged to the construction industry. Asbestos exposure is more likely to occur among these people. Construction materials used in the construction of buildings contain high levels of asbestos. Due to this, people in the construction industry are more likely to contract diseases such as mesothelioma.

Electricians

Electrical equipment, such as panels and boxes, is handled by electricians. During their work with asbestos-containing products, they are directly exposed to asbestos. All electricians worked near asbestos-containing compounds, asbestos fireproofing, and building materials such as floor tiles. Electricians worked on motors connected to asbestos-containing equipment such as boilers, turbines, and pumps for various tasks. Due to this, they are exposed to asbestos and develop mesothelioma.

Auto mechanics

Asbestos is commonly used in brakes and clutches. Changing these parts can release asbestos because of which auto mechanics may be exposed to asbestos fibers. These specialists may have been in contact with asbestos in older vehicles.

Boiler workers

People working with boilers are also at the risk of asbestos exposure. Their work, repairs, and installation of boilers expose them to asbestos. In addition, many boiler components contain asbestos. Due to their high temperatures, asbestos and other dangerous materials are often found in these boilers. Therefore, if you’re in this field, you should get checked frequently.

Plumber and pipefitters

A pipefitter is an experienced merchant who designs, installs, maintains, and repairs pipes used to transport materials such as water, steam, air, chemicals, sewage, and gas. Traditionally, asbestos has been used to insulate pipes, especially those exposed to high temperatures, such as steam and hot water lines. 

Some pipes were insulated with asbestos. Asbestos was also used in shipbuilding. Apart from pipes, rope packing and asbestos gaskets were also widely used in piping systems, as were tanks, turbines, and other equipment that interacted with the piping system. Gaskets made of asbestos were used on pipe flanges. Due to the wide use of asbestos within the piping industry, workers working on such projects were continuously exposed to asbestos, leaving them vulnerable to asbestos disease. 

Plasterers

Plasterers apply plaster coatings on the inside houses and structures to soundproof, strengthen, insulate, protect, and adorn them. Building exteriors are also covered in stucco, cement plasters, and other coatings. Activities include:

  • Mixing plastering compounds 
  • Preparing surfaces for finishing coats by cleaning and prepping
  • Installing guidewires and molding
  • Putting up scaffolding
  • Plastering ornamental surfaces
  • Joint compounding
  • Spray-on fireproofing and acoustic materials
  • Restore damaged surfaces

Sheet metal workers

Stretching, flanging, shearing, punching, pressing, spinning, and a range of other techniques are used by modern specialists on a variety of metals. HVAC, industrial machinery, roofing, plumbing, gutters, and siding are among the systems that sheet metal workers install, assemble, repair, and maintain. They are expected to apply a wide range of abilities. They must complete up to five years of extensive vocational or on-the-job training. Due to this job, they inhale asbestos. The workers who work in the renovation of old buildings are more likely to get asbestos inhaled.

Pipe coverers

A pipe coverer, also known as a mechanical insulator, insulation mechanic, or simply an insulator, carries out the task of covering and insulating pipelines, machinery, and equipment. Workers in this group work in industrial, residential, and military settings. Once exposed to asbestos, pipe coverers developed many ailments, including the incurable malignancy mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis.

Paper mill worker

Workers in a paper mill operate everything from paper mills to pumps, digesters, valves, boilers, and evaporators. Many firms employed paper mill equipment to create tiles and boards, among other things. Paper mills are dirty and noisy environments. Boilers, valves, pumps, and processing equipment all contain asbestos. If the production facility used asbestos in creating products, paper workers might have been exposed to asbestos. Asbestos was a common element in the effects of many paper mills.

Final Words

In all, the professions mentioned above are just a few of the ones that are at a high risk of asbestos exposure. Therefore, if you or a loved one near you is working in any of these industries, it’s always wise to check yourself frequently. Moreover, undergoing a medical examination will help in the early detection of any asbestos-related disease if you’re developing any. So, keep your health in check to save yourself and your loved ones from diseases associated with asbestos exposure.

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