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Common Work Groups at Risk for Asbestos Exposure

Exposure to asbestos on the job site can lead to numerous health concerns and debilitating illness.  Unfortunately, due to lack of knowledge of the effects of asbestos exposure many workers have been exposed to this dangerous material which can lead to illnesses such as mesothelioma.  While there are many places that asbestos exposure can occur, some of the most common jobs associated with exposure to asbestos include:

  • Sailors and Shipyard Workers - Asbestos was a common material found in the production of ships and seas vessels, so those who spent time on, building or repairing these ships are at a higher risk for exposure.
  • Construction Industry Workers - Construction workers, insulators, roofers, plumbers, and electricians are often involved in the demolition and remodeling of older buildings which may still have asbestos in the structure.
  • Firefighters - Asbestos can become quickly damaged by fire and break down into fibers that circulate in the air.  With fireman responding to fires with little knowledge of the material in the building, they have a higher risk of exposure to these airborne fibers.
  • Railroad Workers - Asbestos was widely used in the insulation on train boilers which often exposed workers both on and off the railroad.
  • Miners - During the extraction, refinement, and processing of coal, workers are at heightened risk of exposure to asbestos.
  • Industrial Workers - Machinists, factory workers, chemical workers, and foreman may have been exposed to asbestos during production fo some textiles, insulation, paper, and fireproofing material.

While the above work groups have some of the highest risks of asbestos exposure, it can occur in many other industries. Extra precautions should be used if asbestos may be encountered.

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