Bricklayers, also referred to as brickmasons or blockmasons, spend their workdays laying and binding building materials such as brick, structural tile, concrete blocks, cinder blocks and more. Bricklaying is difficult work, and for more reasons than one. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), of the 11 million workers in the construction industry in the European Union from the years 1990 to 1993 (including bricklayers), it was estimated that more than half were exposed to carcinogenic agents – in particular crystalline silica in the form of quartz dust (19 percent of the workforce exposed), followed by diesel fumes (6 percent) and asbestos (5 percent).
Bricklayers do more than just build brick buildings. They work in steel mills, auto plants, refineries, aircraft manufacturing facilities, tool and die operations, heavy equipment and metal manufacturers, foundries and other industrial sites. In these industrial settings, bricklayers are responsible for installing and repairing walls, chimney stacks and the linings of industrial furnaces, ovens, heaters, glass tanks, boilers and other pieces of high-heat machinery and equipment.
It’s those facilities and those pieces of equipment that contained asbestos fibers and put many bricklayers – and their families through secondhand exposure – at risk for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
Bricklayers and Asbestos Exposure
A bricklayer’s exposure to asbestos could be significant while working with the above equipment. Because asbestos resists corrosion and high temperatures, it was a popular material to use in industrial furnaces and heat-treating equipment that finish metal components such as:
- Cast iron
- Stainless metals
- Malleable metals
Until the 1980s, asbestos was a common component of various kinds of insulation and protective material – all of which bricklayers worked in close contact with on a daily basis.
Simmons Hanly Conroy Is Here for Bricklayers and Their Families
At Simmons Hanly Conroy, our ongoing focus is on helping the victims of asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma and their families – the innocent people wronged by the corporations who knowingly put them at risk. We are passionate about helping them seek and obtain the justice they deserve. If you or a loved one is dealing with the effects of asbestos exposure related to your career as a bricklayer, we may able to help. Please Contact Us by filling out the form below.