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Which industries have the highest asbestos exposure?

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2023 | Toxic Tort And Environmental Litigation

Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, was once widely used in various industries due to its heat resistance and durability. However, it was largely banned upon discovery that asbestos exposure can lead to serious health risks, including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. 

Nevertheless, some industries still have asbestos exposure because the ban didn’t wipe the mineral off the face of the earth. Are you wondering if your industry exposes your business to asbestos? Read on to find out.

Construction industry

The construction industry is one of the primary sectors associated with significant asbestos exposure. Asbestos was widely used in construction materials such as insulation, roofing shingles, cement and pipes. Workers involved in demolitions, renovations, or maintenance of older buildings are at higher risk due to the potential release of asbestos fibers during these activities.

Construction companies and contractors must follow strict asbestos handling, removal and disposal guidelines to mitigate the risks. In addition, proper training, protective equipment and regular monitoring are crucial to help safeguard workers’ health in this industry.

Shipbuilding and maritime industry

Another sector notorious for asbestos exposure is shipbuilding and the maritime industry. Asbestos was extensively used in shipbuilding materials, including insulation, gaskets, boiler rooms and fireproofing components.

Due to the age of many ships, there is still a risk of exposure for workers involved in shipbreaking and salvage operations. Safety regulations and awareness campaigns have significantly improved working conditions over the years, but proper precautions and asbestos abatement procedures remain vital in this industry.

Manufacturing industry

Various manufacturing processes and products incorporated asbestos, posing a significant threat to workers. Industries such as automotive, textiles, chemical plants and electrical equipment manufacturing were known to use asbestos in their operations. Workers involved in producing, maintaining and repairing machinery or equipment were at a higher risk of asbestos exposure.

Stringent regulations and the development of safer alternatives have helped reduce asbestos usage in these industries. However, older manufacturing facilities may still harbor asbestos-containing materials, necessitating proper inspections, risk assessments and preventive measures.