During the 20th century, asbestos became wildly popular because the inexpensive mineral was durable, non-conductive and resistant to heat, fire, and corrosion. We now know that asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma cancer, lung cancer, asbestosis and other illnesses. Before these dangers became public knowledge, tons of asbestos were mined in the United States and used in thousands of products. Brake pads, clutches, engine components and insulation used in the automotive, aircraft, and agricultural industries were among these asbestos-containing products putting mechanics at risk of developing mesothelioma cancer.
Mechanics that performed maintenance on automobiles, airplanes, and tractors were regularly required to handle asbestos products during routine brake and clutch repairs. Often, mechanics needed to alter these materials to fit by filing, drilling and grinding brake pads creating asbestos dust. The removal and cleaning of brake and clutch surfaces also released asbestos dust created by normal wear and tear that became trapped in wheel wells. Once these tiny asbestos fibers are released in the air, they lingered in the mechanics workspace and clung to hair and clothing where they could easily be inhaled or ingested. When asbestos fibers enter the body, they can become lodged in organ tissues causing inflammation and scarring that may lead to the development of peritoneal mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma, or pericardial mesothelioma along with other asbestos-related diseases.
Mechanics specializing in machinery repair often encountered asbestos used in insulation and components, such as gaskets, used on equipment to protect against heat. While intact, these materials posed little threat, but when damaged during the handling, removal and alteration of asbestos parts asbestos fibers can be released in the air where they could be inhaled.
Unfortunately, millions of people have been exposed to asbestos over the years. Only now are we able to see the disastrous effects of asbestos exposure in the workplace. Generally, it takes 10 to 60 years from the time of asbestos exposure until symptoms appear or mesothelioma is diagnosed.
Many of the companies have established trust funds to pay compensation to persons injured by asbestos.
If you have mesothelioma, or other asbestos-related injury, and wish to consult an attorney about your legal rights to compensation, CLICK HERE for a free consultation.