As we mentioned in Monday's post, older vehicles and their parts remain a substantial source for asbestos exposure among auto mechanics. Those working on vehicles need to be aware of the dangers that can come with routine maintenance and repairs.
One of the main places auto mechanics will find asbestos at the workplace is within the brake pads and linings of older vehicles. Although asbestos use within these products has declined in newer vehicles, auto mechanics and do-it-yourselfers are advised to proceed working as if all brakes contain asbestos.
Clutch facings and other materials are also likely to contain asbestos that can be released into the air around mechanics working on them. Not only can asbestos fibers be breathed in by these individuals, they can come to rest on their clothing, skin, and hair, and brought home to family members.
Pre-ground, ready-to-install brake and clutch parts should be used whenever possible, due to the potential to release asbestos fibers into the air with drilling, grooving, cutting, and beveling.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has released a bulletin in the past, informing employed auto mechanics and do-it-yourselfers of ways to stay safe while working with these products. If you are an automobile mechanic or DIYer, the ability to recognize and control these hazards will protect you from asbestos exposure during your work. Don't hesitate to read the safety bulletin authored by OSHA, today.