Boilermakers at Risk for Asbestos Exposure and Fatal Cancer

October 7, 2019

There are several occupations and locations that are more susceptible to asbestos exposure than others. Boilermakers manufacture, install, and maintain boilers, tanks, and other closed vats. Every aspect of their job put them at risk for asbestos exposure since asbestos was found in their safety equipment, piping systems, vessels, furnaces and inside and outside of boilers on which they worked.


What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is made up of microscopic fibers that become airborne when they are disturbed. The toxic fibers are then breathed in, enter the lungs, and after prolonged exposure can cause fatal illnesses, such as lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma.

Asbestos was widely used across the country because of its low cost, fire resistance and insulating properties. It was frequently used to coat steel beams and columns to prevent warping or collapsing in the event of a fire. It was also used as a thermal insulator on pipes and boilers as well as in the refractory materials used inside boilers.

Boilermakers could disturb the asbestos fibers and send them airborne when they attached rigging equipment to pipes or beams or when they removed pipes and valves that contained asbestos insulation or when they worked inside boilers and furnaces and on the exterior of these vessels. Boilermakers serving in the Navy frequently worked on ships and in shipyards which relied heavily on the use of asbestos insulation. Individuals working as boilermakers from the 1950s through 1990s were likely exposed to hazardous asbestos fibers.

While the use of asbestos has largely been discontinued across the country, the product can still be found in some areas. It is important to know the latency period for mesothelioma is approximately 30-60 years from the date of your first exposure, but can also be less than 15 years. This means boilermakers working around asbestos in the late 1950s and early 1980s may just now show signs of the illness.


Contact Baron & Budd

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and are considering filing a lawsuit, it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Baron & Budd can help. Contact us online or call us at 855-280-7664 for a confidential evaluation and to learn more about your legal options.