Asbestos was used in nearly every manufacturing industry until the 1980s. For this reason, asbestos can still be found in cars and trucks on the road today. Auto mechanics are at a higher level of risk than most people realize. Even if mechanics wear respirators, asbestos can still affect them and even reach their families and coworkers.
How Mechanics Are Exposed To Asbestos
Several car parts used to be made with asbestos including gaskets, valve rings, heat walls, but the most dangerous parts to work with are clutches and brakes. This is because replacing brakes and clutches involves grinding and sanding down brakes or clutches to fit into place. By doing so, mechanics may unknowingly fill the air with asbestos particles that cause irreparable damage to lungs. These particles can also travel a far distance due to air circulation within a workshop. Asbestos dust can even linger on a mechanic’s clothes, which in turn puts that person’s family at risk.
Because of the number of vehicles a mechanic has to service every day, it can be almost impossible for them to determine which cars or trucks contain parts made with asbestos. Furthermore, asbestos can lay dormant in a person’s lungs for years before causing symptoms of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma, while rare, causes the death of 3,000 people every year.
The symptoms of mesothelioma are:
- Dry cough
- Chest or abdominal pain
- Muscle weakness
If You’ve Been Exposed to Asbestos
If you’ve been exposed to asbestos, it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately. Make sure to keep any medical records, as well as records showing time off from work and other incidental expenses as well as any psychological injury (it’s a good idea to keep a journal for this) etc.
Your next step should be to contact an asbestos injury lawyer. Pursuing compensation in these cases can be extremely frustrating, after all, it’s likely that the company who made the part is either out of business or may be very difficult for you to track down. An experienced asbestos lawyer will fight for your right for compensation, and has the resources and knowledge to determine and track down who is responsible for your suffering.