Automotive parts manufacturers used asbestos fibers in high heat and friction producing parts such as clutches, brake pads, discs, and engine hoods. Asbestos can still be found on used cars of major manufacturers like Ford, which used asbestos brake linings on their Crown Victoria models as late as 1993.
Brakes naturally generate a lot of dust. As this dust becomes airborne, mechanics face an extremely high risk of inhalation of the fibers. The EPA considers the possibility of exposure so great that OSHA advises mechanics to “assume that all brakes have asbestos-type shoes.” To combat the health consequences of exposure, the EPA and OSHA provide a comprehensive set of guidelines designed to reduce the risk of asbestos exposure.
Such practices include creating a sealed environment or wetting down brake or other assemblies containing asbestos prior to working on them. Health experts strongly advise against using compressed air, brushes and other methods that may eject asbestos fibers into the air.
Auto Repair Workers and Asbestos-Related Cancer Risk
Despite the high exposure risk to auto mechanics and especially brake workers, not everyone who has been involved with auto repair will become sick with an asbestos exposure cancer. Studies still find numerous examples of auto repair workers diagnosed with mesothelioma and lung cancer conditions. A higher incidence of mesothelioma and asbestos-related cancers exists for workers who have prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers.
Nevertheless, researchers recorded negative health effects related to one-time asbestos exposure. The lack of cancer symptoms and diagnoses could relate to the long latency period of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases that may occur in the future. Existing case studies prove that a strong link between brake asbestos dust exposure and mesothelioma and lung cancer exists.
Automotive Products Known to Contain Asbestos
- Fire-retardant steel frame material
- Brake linings, shoes and pads
- Clutch assemblies and clutch discs
- Seam sealants
If you or a family member worked in auto repair and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer from asbestos exposure, contact our legal team immediately. You will receive immediate assistance and a free, confidential case evaluation. Our nationwide legal team will work with you to quickly assemble your case, identify all liable parties and trust funds, and pursue maximum compensation for your losses.