The metal works industry requires workers to labor in high temperatures in order to fabricate metal. In order to insulate the amount of heat in plants and factories, metal works sites constructed before the 1980s were often made with asbestos-containing materials, and insulated by asbestos products. Even some of the protective clothing worn by metal workers contained asbestos materials to help keep them safe from fire and excessive heat.
Today, metal works plants have been modernized for worker safety, but metal workers who were employed before the 1980s are at a high risk of mesothelioma.
Some of the specific types of metalworking jobs with a history of increased asbestos exposure include:
- Blacksmiths – These workers often wore gloves, masks, and aprons that may have been made with asbestos to reduce the risk of fires. They also commonly worked in areas that were insulated using asbestos.
- Welders – Welders are some of the most at-risk workers for developing mesothelioma. One study of shipyard welders found that 13 out of 306 had irregular developments in the lungs caused by asbestos. In another study, five deaths were caused by pleural mesothelioma. Further research has indicated increased rates of asbestos lung cancer among welders as well.
- Steel mills – The constant threat of heat and fire in steel mills required workers to wear protective clothing. Additionally, asbestos was used in countertops, liner board, and blankets within steel mills. Studies have shown an increased risk of asbestos lung cancer among steel mill workers.
- Smelters – In assessments of aluminum smelter workers, as many as 40% of the workers were exposed to asbestos.
If you were a metal worker in the past and have now been diagnosed with mesothelioma, please contact TheLaw Office of Brown | Kiely, LLP today or call (410) 625-9330 to schedule a free case evaluation with our experienced Baltimore asbestos attorney. We can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.