Asbestos is a natural mineral that has been widely used in construction and different industries for many years. It can be harmful if breathed in, and it causes health problems like lung cancer and mesothelioma.
According to the Mesothelioma Center, asbestos-related illnesses account for more than 800 deaths in Georgia. Some jobs have a higher risk of asbestos exposure because older buildings and industrial places may have this dangerous substance.
Construction workers in Georgia may encounter asbestos when they work on older buildings, especially those built before the 1980s when the state put a partial ban in place. These buildings often have asbestos-containing materials like insulation, roofing and flooring. Workers can breathe in asbestos dust and fibers when they handle or work near these materials.
Insulation installers might come into contact with asbestos-containing insulation when they work in homes or commercial buildings. Insulation often uses asbestos because the mineral is fire-resistant. Cutting, handling or removing asbestos insulation without taking proper safety precautions can lead to asbestos exposure.
HVAC technicians who work with older heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can also encounter asbestos. Some components, like ducts, pipes and insulation release asbestos fibers into the air during maintenance or repairs. HVAC technicians need to be careful and use safety measures when dealing with these systems.
The automotive industry uses asbestos in brake pads and clutch materials. In Georgia, mechanics who work on brake repairs or clutch replacements without the right protective gear could breathe in asbestos fibers released during these tasks.
Along Georgia’s coast, shipyards use asbestos in ship construction. Workers like welders, electricians, and pipefitters may encounter asbestos when they work on older ships or during ship repairs and maintenance.
Because Georgia has used asbestos in construction and various industries for a long time, some jobs in the state are at risk of asbestos exposure. To protect the health of workers in these high-risk jobs and reduce the long-term health problems linked to asbestos exposure, it is important to be aware of the risks, get educated about safety measures and take steps to stay safe.