Boilermakers & Asbestos Exposure

Many boilermakers may have been exposed to asbestos while manufacturing and maintaining boilers, as asbestos was often present in products like insulation, gaskets, and powdered cement.

Asbestos is a toxic mineral known for its heat-resistant properties, and it can cause people to develop mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

If you or a loved one was diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you may be eligible to pursue financial compensation.

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How Boilermakers Could Be at Risk

In use for over 100 years, boilers allow buildings or ships to harness the power of steam to produce heat and energy.

Worker looking at BoilersBoilermakers are those who help make, maintain, and install boilers for clients around the world.

Unfortunately, from the 1920s to the 1980s, nearly every duty associated with boilermaking put workers in contact with asbestos. This deadly mineral is known to cause diseases like cancer.

Today, hundreds of boilermakers are being diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer decades after they were exposed to asbestos. Current boilermakers are still at risk if they work on older boilers that use asbestos products.

Boilermakers and their loved ones may have legal options to secure financial compensation — and Sokolove Law may be able to help.

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A History of Boilers and Asbestos

Starting in the 1920s, many manufacturers began to use asbestos-containing products to improve the durability of boilers. Boilers had to perform well under high heat and pressure.

Because of its strength and fireproofing capabilities, asbestos was deemed an effective material in this industry. Over the next 50 years, asbestos was used in boilers and related products like insulation, pipes, and adhesives.

Unfortunately, when asbestos is disturbed, small fibers can break off into the air and be inhaled. After they are inhaled, the fibers can get lodged in the lungs or in the linings of vital organs. This eventually leads to deadly diseases.

"Data suggest there is no safe level of asbestos exposure."
– National Cancer Institute (NCI)

By the 1980s, numerous studies had shown that the mineral could lead to serious health problems. However, many asbestos-related companies had already known for decades that the material was dangerous.

Instead of making the public aware, the companies hid their knowledge so they would continue to profit.

How Were Boilermakers Exposed to Asbestos?

There are many jobs at high-risk of asbestos exposure, but boilermakers faced danger in several different aspects of their work.

Boilermakers may have been exposed to asbestos from:

  • Boiler Maintenance: Raw asbestos was sometimes used to repair cracks in boilers, and changing insulation could cause asbestos fibers to go airborne.
  • Boiler Manufacturing: Factories and assembly lines that produced boilers in the mid-20th century almost always used asbestos. As a result, it was almost impossible for workers to avoid being exposed.
  • Boiler Rooms and Other Components: Boilers were often built using valves, piping, gaskets, and beams that used asbestos. Boiler rooms also used asbestos to insulate the walls, ceiling, doors, and floor, making boiler rooms especially dangerous.
  • Construction Sites: Boilermakers on construction sites could have suffered additional exposure from many asbestos-based products. For example, those who helped remove boilers from demolition sites could have been exposed if the building or ship in question was made with asbestos.
  • Tools and Clothing: Asbestos was used in the equipment and clothes that boilermakers wore. The fire-resistant properties of asbestos would help keep workers safe from high heat and accidents. When boilermakers brought asbestos-containing clothing home, it also put their families in danger.

The most dangerous boiler-related profession was the shipyard boilermaker. Shipyards, in addition to U.S. Navy ships, contained a huge amount of asbestos-related materials. This was on top of the materials already used in boilers.

Boilermakers in shipyards would often spend long hours in cramped spaces surrounded by asbestos products, which created an incredibly dangerous environment.

BoilermakerYou may be able to hold asbestos-related companies accountable for the harm they caused to you or your family. Call (800) 647-3434 or fill out our contact form to receive a free legal case review.

Asbestos-Containing Boiler Parts

Unfortunately, almost all of the materials utilized by boilermakers in the mid to late 20th century had the potential to contain asbestos.

“I always knew that there was asbestos. I asked them what the material was made out of, and they told me asbestos. Nobody ever said anything about it being dangerous."
Walter, Sokolove Law Client & Boiler Tender in the U.S. Navy

The following boiler parts often contained asbestos:

  • Adhesives and tape for asbestos paper, pipes, and wires
  • Bearing and roller additives
  • Block insulation around boiler bases
  • Boiler tank interior liners
  • Floor, ceiling, wall, and steam pipe insulation
  • Gaskets seams and other sealants
  • Pipe wrapping and other insulative wrapping
  • Powdered cement
  • Rigging components like slings and chains
  • Rope used to seal door and hatches
  • Valves and vessels
  • Wax

Asbestos fibers can get lodged within the lungs or organ linings. Since the body is unable to process these fibers, they begin to irritate healthy tissue and can cause diseases to develop decades after exposure.

Boilermakers are at risk of developing asbestos-related diseases due to their proximity to this toxic mineral at many job sites.

Asbestos-related diseases include:

  • Mesothelioma: Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer. It occurs when asbestos fibers get stuck in the linings of lungs, abdomen, or heart. As the damage worsens, cells begin to mutate and form cancerous tumors. Symptoms of mesothelioma vary depending on where it develops.
  • Asbestosis: Asbestosis occurs when asbestos fibers get stuck in the lungs. As scar tissue and fluids build up in the lung, it gets stiffer. This makes it hard for the affected person to breathe. Symptoms of asbestosis include a constant cough and shortness of breath.
  • Lung Cancer: Asbestos-related lung cancer is rare, but it can also occur as a result of exposure to asbestos. Unlike mesothelioma, lung cancer develops in the lung itself. Lung cancer symptoms are marked by a bloody cough, chest pain, and sudden weight loss.

Asbestos-related diseases often do not develop until 20-50 years after initial exposure. This is because the fibers slowly irritate healthy tissue inside the body. It takes decades for this damage to become serious. When illnesses do arise, they are often aggressive.

Medical bills for asbestos-related diseases can cost upwards of $400,000 a year. Thankfully, you may be able to access financial compensation to help pay for treatment.

Get Help Paying for Treatment

Our asbestos lawyers can fight on your behalf for the compensation you need. Take the first steps toward justice now.

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Since asbestos is the only known cause of diseases such as mesothelioma and asbestosis, there are numerous resources that may be available to those who have been impacted by these diseases.

Sokolove Law may be able to help you pursue compensation from multiple sources as a way of maximizing your potential results.

We have helped recover over $5 Billion for clients with mesothelioma, including over $40 Million for Walter, a boiler tender with mesothelioma.

It is important to note that financial compensation can vary depending on the type and severity of your illness.

Asbestos Lawsuits

Asbestos lawsuits take legal action against the company responsible for your asbestos exposure. Those who lost a loved one to an asbestos-related disease may also be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

The majority of lawsuits end in an asbestos settlement, where both parties agree on a set amount of money to be paid to the victim.

$1M - $1.4M

Average Mesothelioma Settlement Amount

If a settlement agreement can't be reached, the case will likely proceed to a trial. Sokolove Law can help you through every stage of this process, so you can focus on what truly matters: your health and your family.

Asbestos Trust Fund Claims

Many asbestos-related companies filed for bankruptcy once the truth about asbestos was revealed to limit their own liability.

Thankfully, the courts made the companies filing for bankruptcy establish trust funds to compensate current and future victims of asbestos exposure.

$30 Billion

Estimated Amount in Asbestos Trust Funds

Asbestos trust funds can help victims and their loved ones get compensation without ever going to court.

Boilermakers may be eligible to file claims against multiple trust funds if they were exposed to asbestos through various different materials and products.

VA Benefits for Asbestos-Related Diseases

Boilermakers that also served in the U.S. military may qualify for VA benefits.

The VA provides healthcare and financial assistance to veterans with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

$3,600+

VA Monthly Payment for Mesothelioma, Plus Free Health Care

Our VA-accredited lawyers can help you successfully navigate the complex claims process so that you can get the help you deserve.

Billions Recovered Nationwide

At Sokolove Law, we’ve recovered over $5 Billion for thousands of asbestos exposure victims and their families nationwide. Let us get you the results you deserve.

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Sokolove Law: Help for Boilermakers and Their Families

If you are a boilermaker that developed an asbestos-related disease, or if you lost a loved one as a result of asbestos exposure, you may be eligible to seek justice through an asbestos lawsuit.

Sokolove Law can help you understand your legal options and the different avenues available to you for pursuing financial compensation.

As a national asbestos law firm, Sokolove Law has:

  • Decades of Experience: For over 40 years, we’ve helped thousands of families affected by mesothelioma get justice.
  • Billions in Results: We’ve secured over $5 Billion on behalf of people with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
  • Nationwide Reach: We have offices and asbestos attorneys in nearly every state. We’ll also travel to you, wherever you may be in the U.S., if you have a case.
  • No Hourly Fees or Out-of-Pocket Costs: Your legal team at Sokolove Law will only get paid if you do, so there’s no financial risk to taking legal action.
  • Registered Nurses on Staff: Our nurses can answer any questions about your diagnosis, treatment options, and more, while providing important medical updates to your legal team.

Call us at (800) 647-3434 or contact us today for a free legal case review. Our dedicated team is standing by 24/7 to help you understand your options.

Mesothelioma & Boilermaker FAQs

Is asbestos still used in boilers?

Unfortunately, yes. Some still utilize asbestos-containing insulation in order to minimize the risk of heat damage to the inner workings of the boiler.

Additionally, boiler workers who work with older boilers — the majority of which utilized asbestos throughout the 20th century — remain at risk of asbestos exposure.

What professions are most at risk for asbestos exposure?

There are numerous jobs considered to have a high-risk of asbestos exposure.

Some of the many at-risk occupations include:

  • Boilermakers
  • Firefighters
  • Construction workers
  • Mechanics
  • Ship builders

If you or a loved one were exposed to asbestos, don’t delay — contact Sokolove Law to learn more about your options. We can help you determine the best ways to support yourself and your family during this difficult time.

How are boilermakers exposed to asbestos?

Boilermakers may have been exposed to asbestos through their workplace, the materials they worked with, and even the clothes they wore.

Boilermakers can work in a variety of settings and travel around to do maintenance jobs at locations that may use steam as a heat or power source.

These locations often included:

  • Apartment complexes
  • Industrial plants
  • Office buildings
  • Schools
  • Ships and trains
  • Warehouses

As a result, boilermakers may have also been exposed to asbestos at these different work sites.

Author:
Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: December 12, 2022

View 3 Sources
  1. American Cancer Society. “Asbestos and Cancer Risk.” Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/healthy/cancer-causes/chemicals/asbestos.html. Accessed on December 5, 2022. 
  2. Boilermakers. “Asbestos.” Retrieved from: https://boilermakers.org/news/health-safety/safety-corner/asbestos. Accessed on December 5, 2022. 
  3. Infrastructure Health & Safety Association. “Occupational Health Risks: Boilermakers.” Retrieved from: https://555.boilermaker.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Boilermaker-health-risks.pdf. Accessed on December 5, 2022.