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Asbestos Exposure and Plumbers

Up until the late 1970s, asbestos was a very common plumbing material that was used.  Plumbers often came into contact with asbestos-containing materials and were at risk to breathe in asbestos dust or fibers while at work.  Asbestos could be found in these products that plumbers worked with:

  • Asbestos Paper Wrapped around air supply ducts
  • Block Insulation
  • Cement
  • Gaskets
  • Joint compounds
  • Joint/Elbow Fillers Insulation cement or mud
  • Laminated Asbestos Felts
  • Pipe block
  • Pipe coating
  • Pipe insulation
  • Valves
  • Welding rods

Plumbers who worked many years ago were very often working with asbestos-containing products and were breathing in toxic dust.  Nowadays, plumbers may still risk exposure to asbestos if they are working in an older building or home.

Plumbers and Risk of Mesothelioma

Many parts that plumbers work with, including gaskets, pumps and valves need to be replaced over time.  If a plumber cuts, saws, sands or drills any equipment that has asbestos in it, those asbestos fibers get released into the air and can be inhaled or can attach itself to clothing.  Plumbers have a risk of carrying asbestos dust or fibers home on their clothes, which could give their families second-hand exposure.  Plumbers or family members of plumbers who have breathed in asbestos are at risk for developing mesothelioma.