Global Asbestos Awareness Week: Occupations With High Risks of Asbestos Exposure

high-risk occupations for asbestos exposure

For decades now, asbestos has been waging a silent war on American laborers in all corners of industry, killing hundreds of thousands. Once hailed as a “miracle mineral” due to its natural properties of heat and fire resistance, durability, and strength, asbestos was used in enormous volume in products and building materials throughout the 20th century.

Asbestos was used in insulation, drywall, ceiling and floor tiles, brake pads, electric wiring, pipe wrap, fireproofing spray, and dozens and dozens of other products and applications. The U.S. military used asbestos-containing products in its ships, vehicles, planes, bases, and barracks.

The widespread use of asbestos exposed millions of American workers who labored with asbestos-laden parts, products, and materials day-in and day-out. Certain occupations have historically carried a much higher risk of asbestos exposure, including, to name only a few:

  • Boilermakers
  • Construction Workers
  • Firefighters
  • Mechanics
  • Military Service Members
  • Shipyard Workers

While the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products knew the health risks that asbestos posed to workers and the public, they never warned them. Instead, they stood by and watched American workers die.

This is the untold story of the relationship between American workers and asbestos. Please watch our brief video below to learn more about high-risk occupations.

As recently as this week, on April 1, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updated its assessment of the cancer risk that asbestos poses to American workers in certain industries.

After several years of testing under the revised Toxic Substances and Control Act (TSCA), the EPA has determined that asbestos does indeed pose an unreasonable risk of cancer to both American workers and consumers who inhale it.

The EPA’s draft risk assessment notes workers in the chlor-alkali, chemical-production, oil, and automotive industries are at especially high risk of developing mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases.

To support the efforts of Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW) this year, Sokolove Law is continuing to release educational videos that highlight the true depth of our country’s asbestos problem — one video for every day of GAAW.

We will continue to make these videos available online through our social media channels and our blog, so be sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter pages, and please like, share, and retweet to help spread awareness.

Stay up to date, follow developments, and share your story, using the hashtag #2020GAAW.

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: April 3, 2020