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Electricians and Asbestos Exposure

electrician working on motor

Electricians are among the workers at risk of exposure to asbestos on the job. Electricians are most likely to encounter asbestos during expansion, remodeling and rewiring of older buildings and maintenance work on electrical systems in older buildings. Inhaling airborne asbestos can cause serious respiratory disease, including mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs and abdomen.

Electricians and Mesothelioma

Most electricians work in the construction industry where the majority of asbestos-containing materials are used today. Electricians are involved in construction, and renovation and repair of buildings. Electricians install wiring systems in factories, businesses and new homes. Electricians also fix and upgrade existing electrical systems, replace older fuse boxes with circuit breaker boxes and repair electrical equipment, generators and transformers. Electricians are among the construction trades strongly associated with malignant mesothelioma mortality, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Most occupational exposures to asbestos today in the United States occur during repair, renovation and removal of buildings where asbestos was installed years ago.

Electricians may encounter asbestos that was used as insulation wrap around conduits, electrical transformers and piping. Electricians often share workspace at construction sites where asbestos materials are handled and airborne asbestos dust may be present. Electricians who worked in shipyards were exposed to asbestos because asbestos was used to coat the ships’ pipes and hulls.

It takes 20 to 50 years for symptoms of mesothelioma to appear. Because of the long lag time between exposure to asbestos and appearance of disease symptoms, electricians exposed to asbestos in the 1960s and 1970s are now being diagnosed with asbestos-related disease. The use of asbestos peaked in the 1970s and the incidence of asbestos disease, such as mesothelioma, is still increasing.

ALCOA

Park Avenue East
Massena, ny 13662

old chimeney

Carrier Corporation

6304 Thompson Road
Syracuse, ny

General Electric Schenectady

General Electric Plants

1 River Road
Schenectady, NY 12345

gte sylvania

GTE Sylvania

50 Johnston st
Seneca Falls, ny

old factory

Schenectady Chemical

1302 Congress Street
Schenectady, NY

xerox sign

Xerox

800 Phillips Road
Webster, NY 14580