Electricians install, connect, repair and maintain electrical systems and wiring in a variety of settings. Individuals who also work with electrical equipment include electrical engineers, electrical linemen, telephone linemen and power plant workers. Up until the late 1970s electrical products, including circuit breakers, arc chutes, electrical cloth and panel board contained asbestos. Electricians were also exposed to asbestos that was incorporated into building materials, such as asbestos fireproofing material, pipe insulation, block insulation and joint compound (mud). Exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases.
Electricians have one of the highest incidence rates for developing mesothelioma. Before warnings were placed on asbestos-containing products in the late 1970s, electricians who worked in industrial, construction or residential industries were exposed to asbestos through the application and removal of hundreds of building products. Electricians were also exposed to asbestos through the very products they installed and maintained.
In order to install or access electrical equipment, many electricians were required to drill into walls, floors and ceiling tiles that contained asbestos. When electricians were not working directly with asbestos, they were quite often in the immediate vicinity of other tradesmen including, carpenters, drywall finishers and plumbers, who also applied and removed asbestos-containing materials. Quite often, electricians worked shoulder-to-shoulder with fire proofers who sprayed asbestos-containing fireproofing materials on steel decking during new building construction, as well as insulation workers who applied and removed asbestos pipe covering and block insulation to pipes and boilers.
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is almost always caused by previous exposure to asbestos. There is a latency period of approximately ten to fifty years between initial exposure to asbestos and the development of this deadly disease. For many electricians who worked during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s symptoms of this disease are just beginning to surface. Once mesothelioma is diagnosed it is characteristically aggressive and can be classified as a terminal cancer.
At Lipsitz & Ponterio, our attorneys bring third party lawsuits for mesothelioma and lung cancer against the companies that wrongfully failed to warn workers against the hazards of asbestos exposure. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease as a result of working with or around asbestos-containing building materials, please fill out the contact form located on this page. Your case evaluation is free and confidential.