Boiler and furnace makers are just some of the workers at risk for developing illnesses like asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. But why?
Asbestos-related diseases are common among the workers of different blue-collar trades, mostly because asbestos materials and products were used extensively in different jobs. Boiler and furnace makers were exposed to asbestos when working with insulation known to contain the substance. Asbestos-containing insulation was used until the late 1970s, and can still be found in older homes and buildings.
Insulation can help with high surface temperatures and minimize heat loss. Since asbestos is known for these properties, asbestos-containing insulation was used extensively for boilers and furnaces. Maintenance workers and construction crews often stumble upon dangerous asbestos-insulation that was installed by boiler and furnace makers many years ago.
If you worked as a boiler or furnace maker in the past, be aware of symptoms such as difficulty breathing, as it might be an early sign of a deadly asbestos-related disease. Asbestos-related illnesses can take 10 to 70 years to be diagnosed, so alerting your doctor to possible past asbestos exposure today is a good idea.