What Types of Manufacturing Involved Asbestos?

Asbestos exposure could happen at any type of factory. Asbestos use was widespread during much of the 20th century. The products created with asbestos were manufactured or used in many factories.

Processing Asbestos

Asbestos had to be processed before being used in products. Workers in asbestos processing plants were exposed to asbestos on a daily basis.

Making Asbestos Products

Asbestos was used in a wide variety of products. Workers who manufactured these products could have been exposed to asbestos in the process.

All Other Manufacturing

Any factory could potentially have asbestos in it. Insulation, tools, and machinery used by workers could all contain asbestos.

Manufacturing Workers Exposed to Asbestos

Certain manufacturing jobs put workers at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma. Any manufacturing worker could be exposed to asbestos but people who worked with asbestos directly on a daily basis are at a higher risk of developing asbestos-related diseases.

Other workers may be exposed to asbestos as well because it was used in tools, building materials, and machinery. When asbestos is disturbed it can float in the air and be breathed in or swallowed by any person nearby.

Here are some occupations with high asbestos exposure:

  • Millwrights
  • Pipefitters
  • Steamfitters
  • Insulators
  • Drywall/Sheetrock workers & installers (Drywallers)
  • Molders
  • Heavy equipment operators
  • Grinders
  • Weavers
  • Woodworkers
  • Brake makers
  • Clutch makers
  • Machine operators
  • Machine tenders
  • Warehouse workers
  • Supply men: storekeepers & shopkeepers
  • Tool and die makers
  • Assembly line workers
  • Canners
  • Sewers & seamstresses

Asbestos Products in Manufacturing

Some workers were exposed more than others because of the products they used or came in contact with at work. Before the 1980s, many products were made with asbestos. Manufacturing workers who made these products or worked with these products were potentially exposed to asbestos.

One of the main uses for asbestos was insulation because asbestos is heat proof. In factories, plants, mills, and refineries asbestos was used to insulate several items. Asbestos was commonly used in insulation for the walls of industrial buildings. It was also used to insulate pipes, boilers, gaskets, and machinery.

Some asbestos products made or used in manufacturing:

  • Molten metal
  • Textiles
  • Blast furnaces
  • Gaskets
  • Insulation (pipe, wall, etc.)
  • Fireproof/heatproof products
  • Pots used to process aluminum
  • Cement
  • Auto parts (brakes, clutches, etc.)
  • Tools
  • Machinery
  • Building materials