Pipefitting and Plumbing: Relationship to Mesothelioma
Nicole Winch | July 7, 2020
The last worry on your mind as a plumber or pipefitter is asbestos. In the 20th century, however, this hazard was very present in the daily lives of these occupations.
Many employees went to work thinking asbestos was a safe material. Why? Because they weren’t told otherwise. They weren’t informed of the toxic nature of the air in their workplace.
Pipefitters and plumbers are high up on the long list of common trades involving regular exposure to asbestos. Many American workers were exposed for years — some even decades — before knowing the damage it was causing to their health.
Asbestos is a flaky mineral that has sharp particles, which can break away and enter your body. The pointed edges can irritate cells and cause tumors to form. Mesothelioma is one of the cancers commonly linked to asbestos — and is often associated with plumbing and pipefitting.
Despite the warnings from scientists and medical experts, companies continued to manufacture and sell products containing asbestos. Many pipefitters and plumbers — and their families — suffered due to these decisions.
If you or your loved one has mesothelioma and worked in any of these occupations, our attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve. Mesothelioma claims help patients and their families pay for medical expenses and lost wages due to their diagnosis.
Pipefitters and Mesothelioma
A pipefitter’s main job duties include designing, installing and repairing pipe systems. Oftentimes, they work with pipes that carry high pressure materials such as steam, chemicals or acids.
Pipefitters came in contact with asbestos through pipe insulation. Asbestos was used as a main ingredient in insulation for its excellent fire-, water- and heat-resistant qualities. Before regulations limited the use of this toxic substance, asbestos was considered a must-have part of pipe insulation.
The use of asbestos has significantly decreased, and most pipefitting jobs don’t involve implementing the mineral on pipe insulation. However, today’s pipefitters may work in older buildings with pipes covered in decaying, unsafe asbestos mixtures. Asbestos particles break off and enter the air, which puts anyone who breathes them at risk of developing mesothelioma.
Plumbers and Mesothelioma
Pipefitters and plumbers share many of the same job responsibilities. They are also exposed to asbestos in many of the same ways, primarily due to insulation on or around pipes.
Plumbers and pipefitters work together to build new plumbing systems or repair existing ones. These projects can be large scale or industrial. Plumbers also work by themselves to fix leaks, blockages or repair major appliances in homes and offices.
Before the trade moved away from using asbestos, many plumbers used tools on a daily basis that contained this toxic mineral. In addition to insulation, they include:
- Joint compound
- Pipe block
Plumbers face asbestos exposure when sawing, drilling or cutting pipes in a building. They may come in contact with asbestos when tearing down walls or floors in older buildings to repair a problem.
What BCBH Law Does for Pipefitters and Plumbers
Numerous studies have connected plumbing and pipefitting to asbestos diseases like mesothelioma. For instance, one study found that plumbers and pipefitters were as dangerous for asbestos exposure as other well-known high-risk occupations. Researchers singled out that plumbing and pipefitting had a mesothelioma risk equal to that of electrical workers.
We at Bullock Campbell Bullock & Harris prioritize helping plumbers and pipefitters with their mesothelioma claims. We understand that the people in these professions did not deserve to be exposed to a toxic substance, and they do not deserve to struggle with this preventable cancer.
Our lawyers have helped many former pipefitters and plumbers receive compensation for their disease. For example, our attorneys have represented:
- A pipefitter, age 81, whom we helped get $6.75 million in a settlement
- A Navy veteran, age 77, who worked as a pipefitter and boilerman and later received $2.77 million in a mesothelioma settlement
At BCBH law, we are here to help fight your case. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and have worked as a pipefitter or plumber, our lawyers are ready to help. Fill out our free case evaluation form and see what compensations options are available for you.