Companies that manufacture asbestos-containing abrasive products needed to provide friction for specific industrial uses which involve high heat. From 1920 to 1980, abrasives manufacturers frequently made brake linings, rotary sander pads, and other products using heavy quantities of asbestos. These products posed a high risk of asbestos exposure for abrasives manufacturing factory workers.

Researchers estimate that one company that manufactured brake linings used chrysotile asbestos in concentrations of 25% to 50%. Employees responsible for drilling, grinding and riveting the products faced a high risk of asbestos exposure. Researchers found around two asbestos fibers in every cubic millimeter of air in one manufacturing facility they sampled.

Abrasives Manufacturing and Asbestos-Related Cancer Risk

A study of two Ontario automotive parts factories concluded that their employees had a much higher incidence of death from certain cancers. These facilities manufactured brake linings using abrasives. Laryngeal cancer and lung cancer represented the predominant cancers employees perished from, at much higher rates than normal.

Additionally, family members of abrasives workers have filed notable cases related to secondary asbestos exposure. One such case concerned a woman named Joan A. Girard, who filed a lawsuit against Saint-Gobain, a French multinational company that manufactures abrasives. Girard alleged that she contracted mesothelioma as a result of asbestos dust which  her husband had taken home on his uniform.  Many state supreme courts have held that asbestos product manufacturers can be held liable for asbestos exposure occurring to family members in the home.

Why Abrasives Manufacturers Used Asbestos

Asbestos’ chemical properties make it ideal for affordable manufacturing of abrasives products. Asbestos fibers resist heat and friction extremely well and are easy to mold into parts making them suitable for high-friction applications.

Abrasive products manufactured using asbestos included:

  • Rotary grinder pads
  • Sanding sheets
  • Brake linings and shoes
  • Sandblasting media
  • Industrial grinding pads

Abrasives Manufacturers Known to Have Made Asbestos Products

  • 3M
  • Saint-Gobain
  • Norton Abrasives
  • Carborundum Abrasives

If you or a family member once worked in abrasives manufacturing and have an asbestos-related cancer diagnosis, contact Mesowatch today. You will receive immediate assistance and a free, confidential case evaluation. You will then connect with our partnered team of nationwide attorneys to identify all liable parties and quickly pursue maximum compensation for your losses.

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