Even though the use of asbestos has been regulated since the 1970s, the automotive industry still comes in contact with it quite frequently.
If you are a mechanic, or you have one who is close to you, you should be informed about how one could encounter the potentially life-threatening material. It is also important to understand the controversy surrounding it and research that is still being undertaken on the issue.
How are Mechanics Exposed to Asbestos?
The most common way mechanics are exposed to asbestos is when working on older vehicles. While taking off brakes, replacing gaskets, doing transmission work, or doing many other repairs, one may easily come in contact with old parts containing dust with asbestos.
Unfortunately, newer model brake systems often have asbestos in them as well.
Most repair shops will provide mechanics with respirator masks and other personal protection equipment to keep the amount of exposure to a minimum, but unfortunately it is not uncommon for employees to receive inadequate training regarding the dangers presented by these repairs.
In 2001, Ford Motor Company stirred up a bit of controversy surrounding asbestos and mechanics.
They had been on the losing end of many lawsuits from former auto workers that claimed they were diagnosed with Mesothelioma cancer after working on brakes that contained the dangerous substance.
As a result, the large car manufacturing company invested millions into scientific research. They were trying to prove that there was no legitimate evidence that could link brake work and Mesothelioma to each other.
The main motivation, of course, was so that they would stop losing six-figure cases.
After all the investigations, all that they managed to do was place doubt in the minds of people who were exposed when there shouldn’t have been any doubt.
It has been proven time and time again that Mesothelioma is a direct result of prolonged exposure to asbestos, like those who have worked in construction, ship yards, as firefighters, and in this case, auto mechanics.
With the exploration done by the Ford Motor Co., Daimler-Chrysler Corp., and General Motors Corp., scientists were able to slightly contradict the previous research using a group of test subjects.
The data that their hired scientists came up with showed that there was not necessarily an increase in auto mechanics developing Mesothelioma, but there was a slight surge in lung cancer in this group of individuals.
However, in the cases of the subjects that they tested, it was noted that each of the people that worked in auto repair, were also exposed to the material in other ways. A few of the authors responsible for the final results of this study have testified in lawsuits as expert witnesses on the health effects that are potentially related to brake repair work.
Call Landry & Swarr for Legal Support
Regardless if you believe that you have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma due to your work in the auto industry or not, your best course of action is hiring an attorney that is knowledgeable in this area to go over your case. We have helped many Louisiana families get the results they’re entitled to in their Mesothelioma lawsuits throughout the entire state.
Our lawyers work only on these kinds of lawsuits, so you can rest assured you are benefitting from the most up-to-date information related to the scientific research and legal findings for your particular situation.
We know what it takes to defend those that have fallen ill due to contact with asbestos. If you think that you have a Mesothelioma case that a judge should hear, give us a call for a free consultation at (504)299-1214.