Asbestos in automobiles mechanics and mesothelioma hp gas online booking


Asbestos is a unique mineral in that it was used in so many applications, that it could be found in nearly any industrial or commercial product. Among the many industries known for heavy asbestos use was the automotive industry. Asbestos was found in brake pads/shoes, gaskets, internal combustion components, and hundreds of other assorted automobile parts.

Asbestos possesses the unique ability to both insulate and prevent heat transfer, making it ideal for use in any number of automotive applications which are centered around the internal combustion engine and friction-based brakes. Many of those working in the automotive industry, including mechanics, technicians, and automobile manufacture plant employees are potentially at risk of harmful exposure to asbestos.

While asbestos was banned in most applications in the late 1970s in the United States by the Environmental Protection Agency and Consumer Product Safety Commission, many older automotive parts still contain the harmful toxin. Asbestos can also be found in trace amounts in newer products as well. Any person regularly encountering these products is potentially at risk of developing asbestos cancer. Where Exposure is Known to Occur

Asbestos is a microscopic, albeit durable, mineral, making it ideal for inclusion in industrial compounds and mixtures. Asbestos can be woven in fiberglass, blended in paint, or used in applications like brake linings. While asbestos sits firmly in compound, it is not generally considered hazardous, as it must be released into the air to be considered harmful.

However, when asbestos is released from compounds like those used in automobile parts and components, it is easily inhaled. Asbestos must be considered “friable” to be released into the air. Friable asbestos is asbestos or asbestos components which are easily crushed or pulverized by pressures no greater than human finger pressure. Friable asbestos could be in powder form or included in some friable component. Unfortunately, friable asbestos is not difficult to find in the automotive industry.

Processes which render asbestos or asbestos-containing products friable are common practice in the automotive manufacture and repair industries. Simple processes like the sanding-down of brake rotors or linings can easily release asbestos into the surrounding air supply, endangering those in the area of asbestos inhalation.

When asbestos is inhaled, the body is unable to expel it from the inner tissue of the chest and abdominal cavities, a thin layer of cells known as the mesothelium. Inhaled asbestos fibers are the primary cause of extremely aggressive respiratory conditions like asbestosis and the rare cancer, mesothelioma. Automotive Parts Containing Asbestos Brakes

Perhaps the most common automotive part known to contain asbestos are brake constructions. Asbestos was used in brake shoes, pads, and rotors. Brakes rely on the forces of friction to function properly. Friction releases a great deal of heat, which asbestos insulates against. Clutches

While asbestos was adept at insulation and prevention of heat transfer, it was also durable, making it attractive for inclusion in fiberglass or plastic compounds from which auto body parts were made. Body parts that were modified or repaired could potentially release asbestos fibers, endangering those in the vicinity. Engine Components

The internal combustion engine used in the great majority of all automobiles releases a great deal of heat. Engine components must be protected against that heat to function properly. In many instances, asbestos was used in the engine part components and compounds to serve this purpose. Insulation

While in the process of sanding malformations in brake linings and rotors, asbestos is easily released into the air from previously stable compounds, endangering those in the vicinity of harmful exposure. Proper techniques to avoid inhalation of asbestos or other particles include clear ventilation systems and using a dust mask or similar device. Cleaning Procedures

Vacuuming asbestos or asbestos containing dust is not a safe method of removing the material from the workplace. Asbestos fibers are microscopic and are easily disturbed when dust is churned around by a vacuum or fan. Even wiping with a moist rag will only scatter particles, leaving them throughout a jobsite, endangering those in the area.

Commercial automotive shops would be wise to examine the Environmental Protection Agency’s detailed guide for automotive safety with regards to asbestos. Shops performing more than five brake or clutch jobs each week are regulated differently than those performing less than five of these services.

For those shops performing more than five brake or clutch jobs per week, they are required to use one of two cleaning methods. The negative-pressure enclosure vacuum uses an enclosure around the brake or clutch assembly to prevent release of asbestos fibers. Low pressure cleaning method uses a low pressure spray and special basin to collect asbestos-laden runoff. For shops performing less than five brake or clutch jobs each week the wet-wipe method, using a simple spray bottle and cloth is typically able to remove the majority of all hazardous asbestos fibers.