Asbestos Exposure and Bricklayers
Bricklayers are at risk for being exposed to asbestos, because prior to 1980, asbestos was commonly added to bricks and mortar during the manufacturing process because it had fire resistant properties. Bricklayers and brick masons may inhale asbestos dust if they cut, saw or trim bricks on properties that contain asbestos.
Bricklayers and Trowel Crafts Workers at Risk of Developing Mesothelioma
Even though asbestos is not commonly used in bricks and mortar, many bricklayers, and masonry workers were exposed to asbestos before 1980 and may only now be experiencing symptoms of mesothelioma, which is a very aggressive cancer that is in your lung’s lining. Bricklayers may have been exposed to asbestos at construction sites, furnaces, power plants, brick kilns or steel mills if they were directly working with any asbestos-containing materials. If a bricklayer has built or remodeled a fireplace, they may also risk asbestos exposure since asbestos was often added to fire brick because it has fire-retardant properties.
Bricklayers are often involved in remodeling projects in buildings that are older and asbestos was a very common material used in construction until the late 1970s. This means that many older buildings still have asbestos-containing materials in them. If asbestos is disturbed, either by cutting bricks or stone, it generates a lot of dust and bricklayers are at a high risk of inhaling asbestos dust.