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Occupations Subject to Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos is a fibrous material that has been used in many applications. When the material is disturbed, it can release tiny particles that float in the air and can be inhaled. Exposure to asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer.

Workers in many industries were exposed to the substance, often over long periods of time. Individuals in certain occupations worked in constant contact with asbestos, which greatly increases the chances of developing mesothelioma. Workers in these industries may have only recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma, even though it may have been decades since the exposure.

Some of the occupations in which exposure to asbestos was common include:

Oil Field Workers

The oil extraction industry has exposed many workers to asbestos fibers. The substance was used extensively as insulation to protect from fire, in gaskets and in many other components commonly used in the industry. Workers were exposed by inhaling microscopic fibers and may only now be facing a mesothelioma diagnosis.


Those involved in fabricating boilers, furnaces and other items constructed from metal plates and sections may have been exposed to asbestos. Boilers used in power stations, in industrial applications and in manufacturing were commonly insulated with asbestos. The servicing of boilers also exposed workers to asbestos as heat and time slowly deteriorated the asbestos insulation.

Insulation Workers

Working with insulation exposed many workers to high levels of asbestos. Removal of older insulation that contained asbestos also exposed workers in this field.


Auto repair workers were often exposed to asbestos dust when repairing brakes or working with other parts that contained asbestos. The fibers are released when the material is disturbed. They can be breathed in, eventually leading to mesothelioma and other lung conditions.

Shipyard Workers

Asbestos was commonly used in the building and refitting of ships, meaning many shipyard workers were heavily exposed, often over many years. The substance was used as insulation and also as an element in gaskets and other components. When these products deteriorated, it exposed workers to the deadly fibers.

Sailors on Seagoing Vessels and in Dry Dock

Sailors working on vessels that contained asbestos may now be suffering the consequences, even though the exposure was years in the past. Most seagoing vessels had high quantities of asbestos, and seamen were exposed, particularly repairmen, builders and those working in the engine room. However, because air circulates aboard ships, any sailor may have been exposed.

Maintenance Employees

Maintenance workers are constantly cleaning up dust, and dust in older buildings frequently contains asbestos particles.

Chemical and Petroleum Workers

Chemical plant workers and those working with petroleum products were often exposed to asbestos as it was heavily used to insulate the miles of piping used in these industries.

Stationary Engineers

Those who have worked with industrial machinery may have been subject to long-term exposure to asbestos, particularly those who used machinery that cuts items containing asbestos or machinery and equipment that was insulated with asbestos.

Stationary Firemen

Workers who were operating or maintaining stationary equipment such as engines, boilers or other types of mechanical equipment that is used to provide utilities for buildings or industrial locations may have been exposed to high levels of asbestos particles.

Power Station Operators

Many older power stations were heavily insulated with asbestos. Operators in these factories were exposed to the substance in high concentrations as it floated through the air when released, and then inhaled.

Electric and Gas Utility Workers

Electrical and gas utility workers have often been exposed to asbestos, most commonly during expansion, remodeling or when rewiring older buildings, or while performing maintenance work on buildings that had asbestos insulation or dust.

Fabricated Plate Workers

Machinists who work on metal fabrication, whether boilers, tanks, valves, pumps, piping systems or countless other components, were often exposed to asbestos. These components often used asbestos insulation or had gaskets that released fibers when cut. For example, replacing a valve or removing worn components could expose the worker to asbestos fibers in the air.

Paper Mill Workers

The pulp and paper industry has been identified as an industry in which workers were heavily exposed to asbestos, which is used in paper production. Workers in papers mills during the 1960s and 1970s may have been exposed to asbestos but only recently diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Construction Workers

The construction trade is a common type of work in which people were exposed to asbestos, particularly in remodeling. Many older homes still contain asbestos in walls, ceilings and floors, as well insulation. Some workers in this industry inhaled the fibers, and possibly decades later are facing a diagnosis of mesothelioma, a fatal form of cancer.


Plumbers may have come into contact with asbestos when repairing older plumbing systems that were commonly insulated with asbestos. The job involves the use of various tools to repair or install water supply systems and waste disposal systems. The risk of exposure was extensive, as until the 1970s, many products used in the trade contained asbestos, including cement, joint compounds, pipe coating, gaskets and many others.

Steel Erectors

Those who worked with steel may have been exposed to asbestos fibers while performing their duties. The substance was used extensively in building materials, and was even sprayed on some building components by workers without protective gear. Any worker who was involved in the construction trade during the 1960s and 1970s may have been exposed, but only now has developed symptoms or has been diagnosed with mesothelioma.


Carpenters are often called on to remodel older homes. In cutting through walls, ceilings or upgrading any part of an older building, carpenters may come into contact with asbestos. May of those who worked in the trade in past decades were exposed to asbestos, as it was commonly used in home and building construction as insulation.


Electricians are often called on to upgrade older equipment, to replace older electrical systems and service equipment. When doing so, it is likely that exposure to asbestos has occurred, as older buildings, whether a home or other building, were often insulated with asbestos. Many electrical systems were also insulated with the substance.


Workers who install or repair piping systems in large commercial buildings, in power stations, or in various industrial and manufacturing facilities may have been heavily exposed to asbestos in past decades. The substance was used as insulation for piping systems, in gaskets and in various other components with which pipefitters were regularly in contact.


Vapors released in welding exposed many welders to high levels of asbestos. Welders play a critical role in a large number of industries, including shipbuilding, auto repair, construction and many others. Asbestos was commonly used as an insulating material in many homes, offices, manufacturing facilities, ships, power stations and other places, putting welders at a high risk of developing serious complications from asbestos exposure, including mesothelioma.

Steel Workers

The steel industry used asbestos heavily in the past, and many workers in this industry were exposed to the substance without any protection. Those working in the steel industry in the 1960s and 1970s may now be developing signs of mesothelioma.

Drywall Finishers

Many earlier types of drywall and drywall joint compound had asbestos as one of its components. Workers involved in sanding, cutting and repairing drywall may have been exposed to the fibers when the material was disturbed with a saw or sanding.


Painters who worked on remodeling jobs may have been exposed to asbestos when sanding walls. The dust released into the air may have contained asbestos. Even when wearing a mask, the tiny fibers can enter the lungs. Asbestos must be removed by a professional who is trained in asbestos abatement and wears full hazmat gear.


Many older buildings had plastered walls rather than drywall. The plaster itself may have contained asbestos fibers, or when the wall is disturbed, asbestos insulation that has deteriorated may release tiny fibers into the air.

Mesothelioma Related to Your Work? Talk to Our Asbestos Exposure Lawyers

You may have a right to seek compensation if you developed mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure at work. Mesothelioma is a very aggressive form of cancer, and the life expectancy of a person suffering from the disease is often just a few months. Modern treatments have extended the lives of victims in some cases through various treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. There are also some clinical trials in process that are hopeful.

While you focus on your medical needs, let the law offices of Kraft & Associates, P.C., advise you about your legal rights as a mesothelioma victim. We’re an established and professional law firm with friendly lawyers and staff who are easy to talk to. Call us at (214) 999-9999 or contact us online for a free consultation and claim evaluation.



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