For decades, asbestos was the primary insulation material used in many automotive replacement parts. Millions of parts still in use today contain dangerous levels of asbestos. Because of this, today’s mechanic runs the risk of being exposed to asbestos on a regular basis.
Automobile Parts Containing Asbestos
Some automobile parts which are most likely to contain asbestos include:
- Clutch facings
- Other transmission parts
Some of the companies who are known to have produced asbestos containing automobile parts include:
- Owens Corning
- Dana Corp
- Cooper Industries
- RPM Int’l
- General Motors
Brake and Clutch Replacements
Mechanics must frequently replace brake and clutch parts. The process often calls for these parts to be ground down. Since it is common for brake and clutch parts to contain asbestos, doing so creates asbestos dust that is full of microscopic fibers that anyone nearby will inhale.
Additionally, brake dust that is full of asbestos fibers have a tendency to collect in the brake drum over time, creating yet another means for a mechanic performing brake maintenance to inhale the harmful asbestos fibers.
Mechanic Jobs and Asbestos Diseases
Asbestos is only dangerous if its fibers are airborne and inhaled. Fibers become airborne when asbestos containing materials are disturbed, like when a mechanic grinds down a brake’s asbestos-filled lining for maintenance purposes.
A person who inhales excessive amounts of asbestos has a significantly increased chance of developing diseases such as:
You don’t necessarily have to be a professional mechanic who spends every work day in an auto-garage to run the risk of asbestos exposure. Nonprofessional mechanics working on cars in their home garage also need to be aware of potential asbestos hazards.
Unfortunately, home mechanics have a tendency to overlook appropriate safety precautions that guard against asbestos exposure. When exposure does occur, they are also more likely to carry the asbestos covering their clothes and hair into their homes, becoming a walking health hazard to their loved ones.
For more information about asbestos in auto parts, please contact the Mesothelioma Treatment Center today.