Asbestos Exposure and Sheet Metal Workers
Sheet metal workers were at risk for being exposed to asbestos, since until the late 1970s, asbestos was commonly used in building materials since it is durable and incredibly resistant to heat. Also, there were many years in which sheet metal workers would spray asbestos on ductwork to fireproof it. This method was not banned until 1973, when the hazards of airborne asbestos became apparent. Using asbestos is now regulated, but sheet metal workers who worked during that time were exposed to asbestos and have the risk for developing a serious respiratory illness.
Sheet metal workers today have a risk of asbestos exposure if they are working on a building or home during its renovation, since older structures may still have asbestos-insulated ventilation systems and ductwork.
Mesothelioma and Sheet Metal Workers
Even if sheet metal workers have not been exposed to asbestos for many years, there is still a chance they could develop mesothelioma, since it can take decades before the symptoms start to appear. Even retired sheet metal workers could still get this terrible cancer.