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Carpenters and Exposure to Asbestos

There are many products in buildings that may contain asbestos, including fire doors, ceiling tiles, wallboards, caulks and joint compounds, which is why carpenters are at risk of being exposed to asbestos.  Most worksites have little to no ventilation which increases the chance of carpenters inhaling asbestos dust or fibers.

How Carpenters Have Been Exposed to Asbestos

Until the early 1980s, many building were constructed using asbestos-containing products, which include:

  • Caulks and joint compounds
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Cement pipes and sheets
  • Fire doors
  • Floor tiles
  • Insulation wraps around generators, electrical transformers and pipes
  • Laminates
  • Paints
  • Plaster
  • Roofing shingles
  • Sprayed-on fireproofing
  • Wallboards

Even if a carpenter did not use an asbestos-containing product, they may still have been exposed to asbestos because of how close they were to other workers who were using these products on the job.  It was very rare for a carpenter to be given a face mask or other respiratory device which could have prevented inhalation of asbestos dust or fibers, so they have a risk of developing mesothelioma.

Is There Still a Risk of Asbestos Exposure?

The unfortunate truth is carpenters still are at risk for asbestos exposure since there are still a great deal of older buildings that have asbestos-containing materials and if a carpenter is working on one of those buildings, they risk exposure.

There are government mandated safety measures that are required if work is being done on an older building that may contain asbestos, including utilizing protective gear/respirators and being trained on the proper methods of removing asbestos-containing materials.  However, some workers do not adhere to those safety regulations, which can lead to asbestos exposure.

If a carpenter was exposed to asbestos dust during the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s or 1980s, they are still at risk for developing mesothelioma.  Symptoms of mesothelioma can take decades before they start to show.