Printing facilities pose a high risk of asbestos exposure for workers. Companies built many of the machines used in printing with asbestos components. Gaskets, rollers, and other components likely contained a high concentration of asbestos fibers. These elements used asbestos as an insulator and flame-stopping measure.
In fact, one of the most important machines to modern printing — the Linotype — utilized an extremely high amount of asbestos materials. As one historical website describes, “A paste made of ground asbestos and water was typically packed between the metal parts of the Linotype.” Workers stuffed this wet asbestos material between the elevator jaws, crucible heaters and other empty spaces between other mechanical parts.
The site also asserts that workers exposed themselves when servicing the machine or replacing linotype parts. “When pieces of the Linotype were removed or replaced, new asbestos was tapped into the empty spaces to freshen the insulation.”
Since newspapers from the 1900s to the late 1980s often used Linotype machines, thousands of print workers were likely exposed.
Additionally, many of the industrial facilities used for printing also contained high amounts of asbestos materials. Soundproofing, wall insulation, tiles, cement forms, fireproofing and other materials all likely contained elevated levels of asbestos.
Printworkers and Asbestos-Related Diseases
Because of the opportunity for severe and repeated exposure to asbestos, former printing facility employees face a high risk of related conditions. Workers regularly exposed to asbestos have a greater risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma, laryngeal cancer and other conditions.
Unfortunately, the latency period between exposure and the emergence of symptoms is lengthy. Therefore, printing workers potentially exposed in the last 40 years could still develop symptoms. Additionally, those experiencing symptoms of lung cancer and asbestos-related conditions could possibly attribute them to exposure during their work in the printing industry.
If you or a close family member once worked in printing and have since been diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition such as mesothelioma or lung cancer, contact Mesowatch today. There are billions of dollars in trust funds currently available to compensate you for your asbestos claim. Through the help of our nationwide legal team, you will receive immediate assistance and a free, confidential case evaluation. You will also benefit from the knowledge and experience of your legal team as they locate all potentially liable parties and help you seek maximum compensation for your losses.