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Labor Day: Asbestos Exposure at Work

As we celebrate Labor Day and the workers that have made this country into what it is today, we also remember the dangers they have faced in the workplace throughout the decades. Asbestos is a microscopic, silent killer that has affected workers in many different occupations. Most of those who have been exposed to asbestos have experienced exposure in an industrial environment.


The presence of asbestos puts the workers of industrial trades at risk for developing deadly diseases years or decades after exposure took place. Take a look at a few of the at-risk trades, below:


Electricians are at risk for coming into contact with asbestos while on the job, due to its use as a wiring insulator, as well as in arc chutes/phase barriers found in switchgear. Electricians also risk exposure as they work around walls and ceilings that are composed of asbestos-containing materials.


A number of asbestos-containing products used in the building of older homes put plumbers at risk for asbestos exposure. Cement water and sewer pipe, flue pipe, gaskets, running rope, and plumber’s putty products have all been made with asbestos in the past and put plumbers at risk for exposure today.

Construction Workers

Construction workers who built homes before 1990 are at risk for developing asbestos-related diseases in their lifetime, due to the fact that asbestos was worked into nearly every building constructed between the early 1920s and late 1980s. And it is not just those who built the buildings that are at risk. Remodels, renovations, and demolitions all put workers at risk for exposure today. It has been estimated that more than one million construction workers are exposed to asbestos-containing materials every year.

and Many More

See a list of occupations that are at high risk for asbestos exposure on the job on our website. Firefighters, veterans, and even teachers make the list.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration states that there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. But before it was declared a hazard to human health, prolonged asbestos exposure was not uncommon in the workplace. Have you or someone you love worked in one of the trades listed above? If so, sharing your work history with a medical professional is a wise idea.

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