Boilermakers and Mesothelioma: The Risk of Asbestos Exposure
For decades until its lethal qualities became public knowledge, asbestos was a popular choice for use as an insulating material for boilers. Unfortunately, this put boilermakers, boiler room workers, and boiler tenders at a heightened risk of developing fatal mesothelioma and other conditions associated with asbestos exposure.
Many boilermakers in charge of the building, installation, and repair of old boilers have been required to manipulate, cut, and hammer asbestos materials, thus disturbing lethal asbestos dust and making it airborne. The inhalation of the particles causes the mineral’s fibers to remain inside the lungs for decades, at which point symptoms of asbestos cancer may appear.
The close quarters of boiler rooms, especially on ships, heightened the boilermakers’ asbestos exposure, as the inhalation of asbestos fibers often occurs in confined spaces with insufficient ventilation.
Manufacturers of boilers that contained asbestos in the US include: Babcock & Wilcox, Erie City, Kewanee, Combustion Engineering, Hercules, Foster Wheeler, and Cleaver Brooks. While the asbestos components used by these companies created a heat-proof environment, the use of asbestos also damaged the health of thousands of unknowing boilermakers across the country.
It was then rare for boilermakers to use any kind of protective equipment as many employers failed to communicate to employees the dangers of asbestos exposure.
The result is that thousands of boilermakers are now contending with mesothelioma,lung cancer and other conditions related to asbestos exposure. If you happen to be one of them, or if you have lost a loved one to asbestos cancer, you are entitled to pursue legal remedies that may result in financial compensation for health problems.