Asbestos Exposure and Aircraft Mechanics
Since aircraft mechanics work in repair shops, hangars and on the flight line, they may be exposed to asbestos-containing materials. Aircraft mechanics perform routine maintenance on aircrafts, and there are many that contain asbestos insulation and other asbestos-containing parts, including brake pads, wiring and gaskets. Military and civilian aircraft mechanics who serviced the aircraft would be exposed to asbestos dust. Also, any veteran may have been exposed to asbestos during their time in service.
Is There Still Risk of Exposure to Asbestos?
There has been a great effort by American manufacturers to replace the asbestos that was being used in gaskets and brake lines with a safer material. Most of the products that are used for aircrafts no longer use any asbestos, but there are some aftermarket parts that are imported that do still have asbestos in them. There is currently no ban in the United States on using this cancer-causing material.
Risk of Developing Mesothelioma
The symptoms of mesothelioma usually take between 15-60 years before they become apparent, so if an aircraft mechanic was working with asbestos-containing materials between 1950-1980, they may only now be noticing the symptoms of this disease. Many of the people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma are veterans.