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Helpful Information

Personal Exposures to Asbestos Fibers During Brake Maintenance of Passenger Vehicles - Ann Occup Hyg (2012)

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Drum Brake

Asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma and lung cancer, are becoming more common among brake and auto mechanics. Significant exposure to asbestos occurred during the repair and maintenance of asbestos-containing brake pads and linings, clutch facings and gaskets. Indviduals who worked in an auto shop where others were performing brake work could have been exposed to harmful asbestos dust and fibers.

Prior to the 1990s, brake linings contained large percentages of Canadian chrysotile, which is a dangerous type of asbestos consisting of curly and flexible fibers. Asbestos is incorporated into brake linings because it acts as an excellent bonding agent and is resilient to high temperatures. Many manufacturers of heavy-duty brake linings still incorporate asbestos into their products, despite being aware of the health dangers asbestos poses on those who work on brake systems.

Drum brake systems, which incorporate brake linings, either bonded or riveted to metal shoes, are significantly more hazardous than disc brake systems. During a typical drum brake job, a mechanic may have been exposed to asbestos in the following manners:

By conducting the activities above, a tremendous amount of airborne dust is emitted into the breathing area of not only the mechanic performing the work, but also other mechanics, shop supervisors, parts runners, or anyone else who worked in the vicinity where brakes are removed and applied.

Common defendants in an asbestos-related brake case include:

Mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases do not become evident at the moment of exposure. Typically, there is a latency period of approximately ten to fifty years between initial exposure to asbestos and the development of mesothelioma. For individuals who performed brake work (or were surrounded by those who did) from the 1930s to the 1990s, cases of mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis are just beginning to surface.

The attorneys at Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC have gathered a vast amount of information regarding the type and variety of asbestos-containing products to which our clients were exposed. Our clients understand the importance of securing legal representation as soon as possible after a diagnosis of mesothelioma or lung cancer. If you or a loved one were once employed as an auto or brake mechanic and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or an asbestos-related disease, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.