Plumbers are at a high risk of developing an asbestos-related illness, and although the current risk is not as severe as it was 30 years ago, plumbers still may work around asbestos-containing pipes that were made during a time when the mineral was used heavily used in both residential and commercial products.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or asbestos-related lung cancer, you may be eligible for substantial compensation. There is currently over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, set up for those who are victims to asbestos-related diseases. Fill out our form to get a free Financial Compensation Packet. You’ll learn about the top mesothelioma lawyers in your area, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file a claim for the asbestos trust funds, and more.
About Plumbers and Asbestos Exposure
Plumbers are responsible for a myriad of duties, which may include maintaining, repairing, and installing pipes and related fixtures that are used for waste disposal and water distribution. Plumbers work in both commercial buildings and residential homes, and may be a part of a construction crew or work for a company responsible for repairing pre-existing plumbing problems.
Prior to the early 1980s, especially between the 1940s throughout the late 1970s, asbestos was frequently used to insulate boilers, pipes, water tanks, and other products that plumbers frequently work with and around. Additionally, tools needed for plumbers to perform their job correctly were once made with asbestos, including tools, cement, valves, gaskets, welding rods, and more.
Plumbers have to sand down, cut, remove, install, and repair asbestos-containing products in order to make pipes and other materials work correctly, which can release asbestos fibers into the air. Asbestos fibers are tiny, colorless, and odorless, and plumbers can easily ingest or inhale them without knowing.
The pumps and valves used to circulate water and give it pressure are frequently worked on by plumbers. Even though these products are no longer made with asbestos, older pipes and valves are still in use today. Over time, the pipes begin to wear down and release asbestos fibers.
Manufacturers of Asbestos-Containing Plumbing Materials and Parts
At one point, there were numerous manufacturers who supplied asbestos-containing products to plumbing and construction companies. These manufacturers are generally responsible when plumbers develop an asbestos illness. The most common manufacturers that supplied asbestos to plumbing and construction companies include:
- Celotex Corporation
- Certainteed Products Corporation
- Eagle-Picher Industrie
- Garlock, Inc.
- GAF Corporation
- Keene Corporation
- John Crane
- The Flintkote Company
- Union Carbide
Studies on Plumbers and Asbestos
According to a 2007 published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and The Annals of Occupational Hygiene (AOH), plumbers run an extremely high risk of asbestos exposure while working, and even after work as asbestos fibers tend to stick to the hair, skin, and clothing.
The study indicates that maintenance workers, including plumbers, are exposed to amphibole asbestos more often than other types of asbestos. Amphibole asbestos was once considered highly valuable for commercial use. In turn, this type of asbestos was used on parts and products that plumbers regularly come into contact with. The American Cancer Society (ACS) states that amphibole asbestos poses a higher risk of developing cancer when compared to other forms of the mineral.
During the study, samples obtained confirmed that at least 68% of the workers involved in the research were exposed to significantly high asbestos levels.
Asbestos Lawsuits and Plumbers
Many plumbers have already filed mesothelioma lawsuits against the manufacturers that supplied asbestos to their job sites after they developed mesothelioma and other asbestos illnesses. The majority of plumbers who filed lawsuits have been successful in winning their case.
For example, Larry Stewart, who worked as a plumber from the late 1960s until he was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2007, filed a mesothelioma lawsuit against Union Carbide and won over $7 million in both economic and noneconomic damages.
While working, Stewart was responsible for grand-scale commercial and residential projects which brought him into contact with drywallers. Drywallers once used asbestos-containing joint compounds while working, and Stewart’s mesothelioma lawyer successfully proved that on many occasions, Stewart was left to breathe in asbestos fibers for long periods of time.
Stewart was also required to use the same asbestos-containing joint compounds during his own projects. The joint compounds were manufactured by Hamilton Materials but obtained by Union Carbide, a company that mined asbestos in Coalinga, California, and sold the asbestos as “Calidria.”
During the lawsuit, Stewart’s asbestos attorney showed proof that Union Carbide knew well beforehand how dangerous asbestos is to humans, yet made no attempt to warn people who worked with or around their asbestos-containing products.
Help and Resources for Plumbers
If you’ve been injured by mesothelioma, asbestosis, or asbestos-related lung cancer, keep in mind that there is a good chance that you’ll qualify for considerable compensation. Don’t forget to fill out our form to get our free Financial Compensation Packet, filled with information on the leading asbestos and mesothelioma attorneys in your area.