Pipefitters. Asbestos. Mesothelioma.
Written by Emmy on August 17, 2014
Pipefitters. Asbestos. Mesothelioma. Three words that do not seem to go together but unfortunately they do. The fact is pipefitters are at a higher risk for mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. The products pipefitters worked with from the early 1900s up until the 1990s contained asbestos. This included insulation, transite pipe, gaskets, packing, refractory and cement. The products were used in every setting: commercial and industrial sites, schools, hospitals, refineries, apartment buildings and even in residential homes.
So how does this happen? Well, pipefitters fabricated, installed, assembled, worked with and removed pipes that moved liquids and gases all over buildings. Sometimes the pipe contained asbestos. Each flange had to have an asbestos-containing gasket that went between each connection. Even worse, the pipe was covered with asbestos insulation.
Pipefitters also worked with and around other trades that worked with asbestos. Trades like insulators followed behind pipefitters insulating pipes, pumps, valves and equipment like boilers, compressors, tanks and more. Boilermakers worked inside boilers removing insulation and refractory. Drywallers put up and sanded sheetrock. Electricians installed asbestos containing wire. Asbestos was everywhere.
Here are some fast facts about pipefitters.
• Pipefitters usually begin as helpers or apprentices, often taking on jobs like mixing insulation and cement. This can cause higher exposure to asbestos.
• At the end of 2012, almost 387,000 people were employed as pipe fitters.
• Almost all pipefitters worked full time and even worked over time at night and on weekends.
• Navy veteran shipfitters often became pipe fitters.
At Asbestos Disease, LLC., we work hard for pipefitters who were exposed to asbestos and their family. If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis and want to talk to someone who listens and cares, call us toll free at 1-800-547-4189. We will answer your call and help you consider your medical, financial and legal options.