Asbestos Usage in the Auto Industry

As the demand for cars and other automobiles keeps growing across the globe, many automobile companies are being established to capitalize on this opportunity. Some are engaged in manufacturing, while others purely deal in assembly. No industry matches the automobile industry when it comes to using products that are made with asbestos. This material is associated with mesothelioma, a type of cancer affecting membranes lining the chest, lungs, abdomen, and heart. Tiny fibers of the asbestos material are released into the air, probably when grinding or dusting occurs. The Mesothelioma Cancer Network seeks to share more information about this rare but life-threatening condition. Those present when such activities occur are prone to inhale the harmful asbestos fibers released into the air. A good number of workers in the automobile industry are highly exposed to asbestos without their knowledge. To make things worse, they are not provided with safety gear to at least protect them. This is a case of negligence from the employer.

An automobile is made up of many parts, and since asbestos is known for its strength and resilient nature to heat, it is commonly used in making these parts. Asbestos is just one hidden risk autoworkers face; other dangerous substances an autoworker may encounter that could lead to health challenges are toxic metals such as lead and mercury, chemicals, and air pollution.

Here are some of the critical areas where asbestos is applied.

Clutches

Clutch linings are customarily made of asbestos to regulate heat produced by friction.

Undercoating

The primary purpose of the undercoat is to protect the vehicle from dents, scratches, and paint chips. The paint involved often contains asbestos fibers as filler and strength.

Brakes

This includes the housing and linings, which are collectively called brake shoes. Asbestos is preferred since it provides good friction at low temperatures.

Insulation

The fact that asbestos is fireproof and resistant to electricity and chemical corrosion makes it a contender for making insulation material.

Sheets and hood liner sheets

For purposes of regulating temperature, asbestos is used around engines and hood liners.

As much as everyone working in the auto industry is exposed to asbestos in one way or another, some are highly at risk considering the nature of their work in these industries. They include:

  • Auto assembly line worker-In the process of assembly, these groups of workers come into contact with parts made with asbestos-like brakes and clutches.
  • Auto body worker-Some of the activities involved in the body working process includes molding and filling. Most fillers consist of asbestos.
  • Auto mechanic-Mechanics cannot avoid the act of removing and replacing worn-out parts of an automobile. Since most parts are made with asbestos, they find themselves at high risk.

The use of asbestos cannot be done away with overnight. This means that responsible parties involved with emission need to find ways of reducing exposure as alternative ways are worked on. Cleaning methods such as; wet cleaning, wet pipe, and HEPA vacuum system methods can be adopted. For victims who have suffered as a consequence of exposure to asbestos at their workplaces, be notified that there are legal options that can secure compensation. Treating mesothelioma is expensive. That is the reason legal lawsuits exist to address the injustice of manufacturers making money at the expense of their workers.

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