Asbestos Exposure in the Louisiana Auto Industry 2013-11-25T18:20:20+00:00

Asbestos Exposure in the Louisiana Auto Industry

In order for a motor vehicle to operate, the engine creates extremely high temperatures from combustion while accelerating and the brakes generate tremendous heat from friction while stopping. In order to keep all of the parts working, and safe for people to use, asbestos was often used as a coating because of its highly heat and fire resistant qualities.

Asbestos was used in abundance throughout the Louisiana automotive industry, as well as the rest of the country. While Louisiana does not support many automobile manufacturing operations, we do have countless numbers of auto repair shops throughout the state and workers at any of these locations may have been potentially at risk for exposure.

Understanding Asbestos

All forms of asbestos are made from minerals known as silicates, which are extremely durable and resistant minerals, making them great for providing protective coatings. However, these inorganic minerals are so resistant that even the human body is no match. As asbestos products are manipulated, and as they age, they release microfibers into the air, which can then be easily and unknowingly inhaled into the lungs. Exposure to these fibers can cause serious health problems to the automotive plant workers and mechanics throughout Louisiana.

Once the fibers enter the lungs, they can cause serious damage. Some individuals who have worked in the automotive industry develop a cough and chest pains because asbestos fibers are scarring their lung tissues. In more severe cases, asbestos has caused individuals to develop a rare form of lung cancer known as mesothelioma.

Other resources:

  • Click here to learn about the symptoms and effects of mesothelioma
  • Click here to learn about the types of mesothelioma

Asbestos Exposure Specific to the Automotive Industry

The brakes and the clutch of a vehicle are often exposed to the highest temperatures. Therefore, these parts of the vehicle were often coated with an asbestos insulation. Automotive workers, who worked on assembly lines or in repair shops where these parts were handled, were at the highest risk of asbestos exposure. The asbestos was often sprayed onto the parts before being baked on as a coating or polished or sanded during routine maintenance repair work. This process allowed for many opportunities for asbestos particles to become airborne and inhaled.

Specifically in Louisiana, auto mechanics, and particularly those who worked on brakes, have perhaps the highest risk of occupational related disease. Brake maintenance or replacement often involves the grinding of brake linings or pads which may contain asbestos.

Additionally, the family members of auto-mechanics may also be at risk due to what is known as secondary, or family, exposure when the fibers from clothing are brought home from work. Click here to read more about the dangers of secondary exposure to asbestos.

Asbestos Exposure Today

Any Louisiana automotive worker who worked in the industry is at the highest risk for asbestos related health conditions. While it is no longer legal to use asbestos in U.S. manufacturing, components of vehicles are sometimes imported into the U.S. from countries where asbestos regulations are lax or not present at all. Any automotive worker experiencing any type of respiratory problems should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

If you or a loved one worked in the auto industry and would like to discuss your legal options with a qualified asbestos attorney, please contact us today.