- Health Literacy Month: High-Risk Occupations with Asbestos Exposure
- November 13, 2018
October is Health Literacy Month. This week, we will be focusing on occupations that often have a high-risk of asbestos exposure.
What are the High-Risk Occupations?
Most asbestos exposure happens to those who work or have worked in an industrial environment. The following occupations may have been exposed to asbestos at some point in their career:
- Auto mechanics-asbestos is used in brake linings and clutches
- Construction workers-asbestos was incorporated into fireproofing and many building materials, including roof shingles, pipes, siding, ceiling and floor tiles, and joint compound
- Drywall installers-asbestos was in the taping compounds that were used to cover and smooth the taping that covered the seams between sheets
- Electricians-asbestos was commonly used as insulator in wiring and in high-voltage switchgear and motors; and electricians typically worked around joint compound and fireproofing
- Firefighters-exposed to an array of construction materials and compounds while fighting fires in older buildings, as well as wearing asbestos suits to prevent injury
- Insulators-install or remove asbestos pipe covering, asbestos block insulation or asbestos cement
- Longshoremen and shipbuilders-exposed to massive levels of asbestos while unloading asbestos fiber and other asbestos containing cargo or while constructing and repairing vessels
- Mining operations-asbestos is a common contaminant
- Plumbers and pipefitters, steamfitters-asbestos gaskets and packing and the insulation used on the pipes they were repairing
- Railroad workers-asbestos was used in insulation, brake linings and in other areas
- Sheet metal workers-asbestos was common in construction materials as well as protective gear
- Brickmasons and boilermakers- asbestos in gaskets, rope, insulation and refractory mortars and cement used to insulate boilers and furnaces and associated piping
- Teachers-asbestos dust in the classroom from worn, damaged or disturbed building materials or from teaching art classes that utilize asbestos materials
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