Recognizing the substantial effects asbestos exposure has on diverse businesses requires an understanding of exposure to asbestos. Because of its heat resistance and durability, asbestos was formerly thought to be a versatile and frequently utilized material. However, it is now understood to be a dangerous substance. Microscopic fibers are discharged into the air when asbestos-containing objects are disturbed or destroyed, presenting a serious threat to human health. Asbestos has traditionally been used by sectors like construction, manufacturing, shipbuilding, and mining, placing employees in danger of exposure. Asbestos fibers may be inhaled and cause major health problems, such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, which are lung illnesses. The top industries with the highest rates of asbestos exposure are covered below.
Asbestos exposure has traditionally had one of the biggest effects on the building sector. Construction components including insulation, roofing, flooring, and cement products often included asbestos. Particularly in danger are those who demolish, renovate, or maintain ancient structures. If the right safety measures are not performed, asbestos fibers might become airborne during these tasks and could be inhaled. Workers in the construction industry, such as plumbers, electricians, and insulators, were exposed to asbestos via the direct handling of materials or by working in settings where asbestos dust was present. A large number of asbestos-related disorders have been linked to the extensive use of asbestos in the construction industry, which has affected its workforce.
Due to its capacity to endure high temperatures and fire resistance, asbestos was actively used in the shipbuilding sector. In addition to being utilized in shipbuilding products like gaskets, adhesives, and electrical components, asbestos was also employed in shipyards to insulate pipelines, boilers, and steam engines. Workers in dockyards and shipyards who built, repaired, and maintained ships were at significant risk of exposure to asbestos. Asbestos fibers might stay in the air for a long time in ships’ cramped quarters and poorly ventilated sections, which increases the danger. Asbestos-containing materials were often exposed to workers during ship refurbishment or destruction, as well as during everyday duties like drilling, cutting, and sanding.
Automobiles, textiles, electronics, paper (such as Georgia Pacific Paper Mill), and appliances were just a few of the many industries that made up the manufacturing sector, and they all used materials containing asbestos in their processes. Insulation materials, gaskets, seals, brake linings, and electrical parts often included asbestos. Workers who handled or manufactured these goods ran the danger of breathing in asbestos fibers. Asbestos dust might be released during operation by machinery and equipment, and the industrial environment itself constituted a risk. Workers who maintained or repaired machines were especially at risk for asbestos exposure.
Mining and Milling Industry
Since these activities entailed extracting and processing materials containing asbestos, the asbestos mining and milling industries were directly associated with asbestos exposure. The greatest danger of asbestos exposure was among miners and those who milled, crushed, and refined asbestos ore. The large levels of asbestos fibers in the dust produced during these processes were inhaled by nearby personnel, including miners. Due to their extensive exposure over extended periods of time, asbestos miners were more likely to acquire illnesses associated with asbestos.
Insulation and Building Maintenance Industry
Due to the extensive use of insulation materials containing asbestos in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings, the insulation and building maintenance industries were exposed to large levels of asbestos. HVAC professionals, maintenance personnel, and insulation installers were among those in danger. Attics, pipes, boilers, ductwork, walls, and attics all had asbestos insulation. Asbestos fibers might be discharged into the air over time when these materials decayed or were disturbed, putting employees at risk of inhalation. Workers in building maintenance who removed, repaired, or renovated older structures were especially vulnerable.
Industries including construction, shipbuilding, manufacturing, mining, milling, insulation, and building maintenance have all seen a high rate of asbestos exposure. Due to the extensive usage of materials containing asbestos and the nature of their work processes, employees in these industries have faced serious dangers. Understanding high-risk industries is essential for putting strong safety measures in place, spreading knowledge about asbestos, and safeguarding the health and well-being of employees in these fields. Industries can reduce the prevalence of asbestos-related illnesses and establish safer working conditions by emphasizing safety and implementing suitable asbestos management policies.
Stephanie Caroline Snyder is a 27-year-old who graduated from The University of Florida in 2018. She majored in Communications with a minor in mass media. Currently, she is an Author and a Writer. She was born and raised in Panama City, Florida, where her family still lives.