Workers who are commonly at risk for asbestos exposure

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral with a convenient property: it is highly heat resistant. It has been used in a wide variety of applications from home construction and insulation to aerospace and missile production. It can also be present as a contaminant in other mined products, such as talcum powder and coal.

Unfortunately, asbestos is not safe. It is a known human carcinogen. According to the EPA, there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Any exposure to the tiny, airborne particles of the substance can damage your lungs and potentially cause mesothelioma, lung cancer or other asbestos-related diseases.

The people most at risk for asbestos exposure are those who work with or around it on a routine basis. However, others can be exposed, as well. For example, family members often encountered asbestos dust brought home from the job site on clothes and the body of their loved one.

And, people can be exposed to asbestos in other ways such as washing clothes, working as a shade-tree mechanic on their own or others’ cars, and while serving in the military. Even folks who served in the Army, who may not have been exposed to as much asbestos as some in the Navy, may still have been exposed to a lot of asbestos while being transported overseas on Liberty ships.

If you believe you may have been exposed to asbestos and have developed an asbestos-related disease, you should discuss your situation immediately with an attorney experienced in asbestos litigation and claims. While you might be able to file a lawsuit, you do not have to ​sue to claim compensation.

Here is a list of some occupations where asbestos exposure has been common:

Aircraft/aerospace workers:

  • Aerospace and missile production workers
  • Aircraft manufacturing production workers
  • Aircraft mechanics

Automotive industry:

  • Automobile manufacturing production workers
  • Automobile mechanics and brake repairers
  • Brake and clutch manufacturing and assembly workers


  • Building and construction trades workers
  • Building engineers
  • Carpenters
  • Cement and masonry workers
  • Construction workers (commercial and residential)
  • Demolition and wrecking crews
  • Drywall installers
  • Electricians
  • HVAC mechanics
  • Insulators
  • Laborers
  • Painters
  • Pipefitters and steamfitters
  • Plasterers
  • Plumbers
  • Roofers
  • Sheetmetal workers
  • Steel/ironworkers
  • Tile/linoleum installers

Industrial workers:

  • Asbestos textile mill workers
  • Boilermakers
  • Building materials manufacturers
  • Cement plant production workers
  • Chemical plant workers
  • Crane operators
  • Insulation manufacturing plant workers
  • Insulators and asbestos workers
  • Ironworkers
  • Machinists
  • Millwrights
  • Packing and gasket manufacturing plant workers
  • Pipefitters
  • Powerhouse workers
  • Protective clothing and glove makers
  • Refinery workers
  • Refractory products plant workers
  • Rubber workers, including tire makers and hose makers
  • Sheet metal workers
  • Steamfitters
  • Steelworkers
  • Textile mill workers
  • Welders


  • Coast Guard personnel
  • U.S. Navy personnel


  • Asbestos miners
  • Coal miners
  • Talc miners


  • Brakemen
  • Car mechanics
  • Conductors
  • Engineers
  • Inspectors
  • Locomotive mechanics
  • Maintenance personnel
  • Rebuilders
  • Yardmasters

Shipping/shipyard workers:

  • Electricians
  • Insulators
  • Laborers
  • Laggers
  • Longshoremen
  • Maintenance workers
    Merchant mariners
  • Painters
  • Pipefitters
  • Riggers
  • Welders

Other workers:

  • Custodians
  • Electrical workers, including electricians, electrical linemen and telephone linemen
  • Firefighters
  • Laborers
  • Operating engineers
  • Warehouse workers

Remember, you don’t have to have worked in one of these industries to be exposed to asbestos. It is simply common for someone diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related disease to have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace.

Whatever the source of your asbestos exposure, it is important to get good, reliable information about asbestos diseases like mesothelioma. And you don’t have to call one of those 1-800 numbers to get it. Discuss your situation with an experienced, local asbestos attorney.

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