Asbestos was a key fireproofing ingredient used in building materials, used by electricians all over the United States. Buildings constructed between 1920 and 1980 were the most likely to contain asbestos materials. Products like insulation that electricians used regularly often contained asbestos.
The dangers of asbestos arise when the fibers are released into the air and then inhaled. When an electrician would drill into an insulation film, drywall, plaster or other asbestos material, the toxic fibers would be released into the air and enter the lungs of the electrician. This is just one example of asbestos exposure among electricians.
Risk of Mesothelioma for Electricians
Electricians who built structures between the years when using materials containing asbestos was at its height are most at risk for mesothelioma. This is because of the long latency period associated with the disease. Electricians exposed to asbestos 20 to 40 years ago may just now start to experience mesothelioma symptoms.
Many products used by electricians are similar to those used in the construction industry and often contained asbestos. Some products handled by electricians include:
- Spackling material
- Cement siding
- Electrical ducts
- Ceiling tiles
- Electric wiring insulation
- Textured paints
- Decorative plaster
- Circuit breakers1
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Electricians, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/electricians.htm