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Occupations With High Risks of Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral dangerous to human health. Asbestos exposure typically occurs via the airways when people inhale asbestos dust. Asbestos exposure occurs in various places. For example, many people suffer from asbestos exposure in their workplaces. Below are some of the occupations with high risks of asbestos exposure.


Construction workers have a high risk of asbestos exposure because asbestos was a common construction material in the past. According to, former construction workers are five times more likely to develop mesothelioma than the general population. Mesothelioma is a cancerous tumor that exposure to asbestos causes in some people.

The risk of asbestos exposure is particularly high in construction workers who:

  • Create and dispose of construction wastes that contain asbestos

  • Renovate old buildings since old buildings are more likely to have asbestos than newer buildings

  • Use products laced with asbestos, such as drywall

What is more, construction workers of different specializations often share job sites. Thus, asbestos exposure isn't usually limited to specific workers. For example, when a disposal crew handles waste containing asbestos and disturbs contaminated dust, other nearby workers might suffer asbestos exposure.


Firefighters’ high risk of asbestos exposure is almost due to the same reasons as construction workers. Firefighters usually deal with emergencies in buildings, and some of these buildings have asbestos materials. For example, many buildings have asbestos in their:

  • Insulation

  • Furnaces

  • Roofing materials

  • Paints

The asbestos suffers disturbance in case of an emergency. For example, a fire outbreak can lead to a roof collapse, and the collapsing roof can kick up a cloud of asbestos particles. Firefighters rushing to put out the fire and rescue trapped victims are more likely to inhale the asbestos.

Industrial Work

Industrial workers typically work in factories that produce material goods. They use or refine raw materials to make consumer products. Examples of industrial workers are:

  • Welders

  • Smelters

  • Mechanics

  • Metalworkers

  • Machinists

Multiple issues are responsible for industrial workers' high risk of asbestos exposure. For example, some industrial workers:

  • Use raw materials that contain asbestos

  • Work in old buildings with asbestos

  • Work in high-temperature areas where asbestos is part of the heat-shield materials

The risk of asbestos exposure in industrial settings has declined over time, but it is still present. As is the case with construction workers, even industrial workers who don't work directly with asbestos might suffer exposure.


Asbestos is a naturally occurring substance. As such, the mineral is abundant in some soils or rocks. Miners who work in areas with significant asbestos minerals can suffer asbestos exposure and its effects. In the past, people used to mine asbestos for use in the manufacture of construction products. Thus, asbestos minors suffered significant asbestos exposure.

Even though people no longer mine asbestos, miners still experience asbestos exposure. For example, when mining other products such as iron, miners can suffer asbestos exposure when they disturb asbestos deposits in the earth. Whenever that happens, others in the vicinity also can experience asbestos exposure.

Textile Mill Work

Lastly, those who work in textile mills also can experience a significant level of asbestos exposure. The problem started when textile mills started to use asbestos to insulate machinery in their plants. Some factories also used asbestos as raw materials for their fabrics.

Like other factories, textile mill workers stopped using asbestos in their plants. Unfortunately, some textile mills still have asbestos in their old machinery. Those who dismantle such factors also risk exposure.

You should know where to get help if you are suffering from the effects of asbestos exposure, such as mesothelioma. In some cases, you may be entitled to compensation for your asbestos exposure. Contact The Veterans Asbestos Alliance for information seeking compensation for the effects of asbestos exposure on your life.

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