Medical studies show that 80% of people working in the shipbuilding industry for greater than twenty years have a significant risk of developing mesothelioma. Many shipyard employees worked around asbestos insulation in steam pipes, incinerators, and boilers without knowledge of the importance of wearing proper protective equipment in enclosed and poorly ventilated areas.
Metal works employees are at a particularly high risk of developing mesothelioma, especially if they worked around certain materials commonly found in such job sites. It is now known that thermal insulation, hot water pipes, steam pipes, brakes, clutches, and gaskets may have been contaminated with asbestos. Because of its fire-resistance properties, asbestos was a popular material in the metal works industry.
The risk of mesothelioma for those who worked in power plants has become an increasing worry. Many power plant operators worked directly with boilers, generators, and turbines that were contaminated with asbestos. Even employees who had casual exposure over many years of work are now at risk for developing mesothelioma.
Aluminum and Metal Plants
Much of the equipment in aluminum and other metal plants have been found to have been contaminated with asbestos. The equipment in question includes furnaces, pourers, insulation in pipes, and even in the clothing fibers made for the plant workers to wear. Exposures to asbestos, especially in poorly ventilated work areas, pose the greatest risk to this group of workers. Much of the time, protection equipment to guard against airborne asbestos particles was used improperly or not at all.
Paper and Pulp Mills
Various pipes and boilers used in paper and pulp mills are thought to have been contaminated with asbestos prior to the knowledge that exposure to the mineral caused mesothelioma. Due to its fire-resistant properties, asbestos was used in pulp and paper mills to guard against fire. Former workers of these kinds of industrial sites now find their risk of developing mesothelioma is high.
Lumber, Particleboard, Plywood, and Veneer
Plants and mills used in the manufacturing of lumber, particleboard, plywood, and veneer products were often constructed using asbestos materials. Due to the fire-resistant nature of the material, it seemed like the proper choice for an industry making flammable goods. It is now known that many workers in this area of manufacturing were exposed to asbestos and run the risk of developing mesothelioma illness.
Refineries and Chemical Plants
Insulation, pipes, and packing are among the common materials found in refineries and metal plants that were contaminated with asbestos. For workers that may have been exposed to asbestos in the refinery and chemical industry, the threat of mesothelioma remains very real. Industry workers who were stationed in areas with little ventilation are among those at greatest risk, as inhalation of asbestos remains the primary cause of mesothelioma cancers.
Commercial industries used asbestos-laden products for many years in many different applications. From roofers to brewery workers, airplane manufacturers to gypsum millers, there are many different industrial disciplines that used asbestos in their product manufacturing. A short list of various industries that may have been affected appears below.
- Rubber plants
- Tire plants
- Roofing and siding plants
- Food processing plants
- Sugar refineries
- Sand and gravel plants
- Gypsum mines
- Airplane production companies
If you or someone you know worked in any of these industries prior to the knowledge that asbestos was the primary cause of mesothelioma, please consult a physician if you develop mesothelioma-related symptoms.
Hospitals, Prisons, and Schools
Asbestos building materials were used in structures that housed communal living, wellness, and education for years, primarily because such places posed a large risk of fire-related deaths. In an attempt to safeguard the ill, the incarcerated, and children from the threat of fire, the building industry inadvertently exposed many people to airborne asbestos particles. If you worked in a hospital, prison or school, were incarcerated or were educated prior to the 1970s, your risk for mesothelioma-related illness could be higher than you might assume.