Foundry Workers and Mesothelioma
Foundry workers are among the professionals that worked with factory machinery that often contained asbestos, and the factory itself may have used asbestos to insulate pipes and other areas from fire hazards. Asbestos was commonly used in the metal industry over the past century. Sadly, many foundry workers may have been exposed to deadly asbestos particles which can lead to mesothelioma.
How Were Foundry Workers Exposed to Asbestos?
Foundry workers may have been exposed to asbestos in several ways. Asbestos was commonly incorporated into many pieces of equipment including tanks, pumps, valves, ovens, boilers, and furnaces. Many of these pieces of equipment were insulated with asbestos. Many tanks for melting metals had hot tops made with asbestos to cover the tanks. In addition, metal workers often wore equipment to protect themselves from the hot materials with which they worked. This protective equipment often included asbestos-lined gloves, asbestos-lined aprons, and asbestos-lined curtains.
Foundry workers may have been exposed to airborne asbestos particles that were released into the air when:
- Asbestos-containing products and machinery were repaired or replaced.
- Protective equipment containing asbestos became worn and used.
Are Foundry Workers Still At Risk of Exposure to Asbestos?
Yes. Older equipment still contains asbestos-containing materials. Foundry workers who continue to work with asbestos-containing machinery or materials are still at risk for asbestos exposure – especially when not wearing face masks or using respiratory devices while working. Even if safety procedures are followed, it is very likely that asbestos particles remain in the air and settle on clothing – leaving foundry workers and their families at greater risk.
Why Are Foundry Workers Still At Risk of Getting Mesothelioma?
Foundry workers who were exposed to asbestos dust in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s or 1980s remain at risk of developing mesothelioma. This aggressive form of cancer has a latency period of up to 50 years before symptoms appear. In fact, many foundry workers may have only recently begun experiencing symptoms of respiratory disease and been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma.
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