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Painters and Asbestos Exposure

Painters are at risk for being exposed to asbestos since they often work in older buildings or homes during remodeling or renovation.  The remodeling process can disturb asbestos and release asbestos dust or fibers into the air, which can then be inhaled.  Mesothelioma is just one of the serious respiratory diseases that inhaling asbestos can cause painters.

Mesothelioma and Painters

When older layers of paint and caulk are being removed from older buildings or homes, asbestos dust can be released into the air, which is a risk for painters since they can then inhale it.  There are many products, such as paints, caulks, spray paints, and spackling and joint compounds that had asbestos as an additive in it until the late 1970s, because asbestos has heat resistance properties.  Different techniques that painters use, including scraping, sanding, patching and taping have been known to release asbestos dust into the air.

There are a lot of painters who do not wear a mask while they are working, which could prevent inhaling asbestos dust.  If breathed in, tiny particles of asbestos can get into the painter’s lungs and can cause a serious disease, such as mesothelioma.  Mesothelioma has a very long latency period, so painters who were exposed to asbestos in the 1960s or 1970s may only now be noticing its symptoms.