Before the 1980s, aircraft mechanics worked with asbestos everyday. The material was used in nearly every engine component that was exposed to heat. Though asbestos has been banned from use in modern aircraft parts, some parts in circulation made before 1980 still contain asbestos. In an ideal world, mechanics would be able to know if parts they’re working with contain asbestos, but mechanics don’t always have the time to research their parts to see if they were made before 1980.
How are Aircraft Mechanics Exposed to Asbestos?
Aircraft parts that have specifically been noted to contain asbestos are:
- Heat shields
- Electrical insulation
- Torque valves
The parts listed above are not the only ones that would contain asbestos, but are among the most common.
Asbestos causes mesothelioma by its microscopic particles being inhaled. Because aircraft maintenance requires mechanics to rub, cut or otherwise disturb the materials they work with, asbestos can easily enter the air and a mechanics lungs. One of the reasons why asbestos is so deadly is that symptoms of mesothelioma do not present themselves until years after a worker has inhaled asbestos.
The symptoms of mesothelioma are:
- Dry cough
- Chest or abdominal pain
- Muscle weakness
If You Are Exposed to Asbestos
If you suspect that you have been exposed to asbestos, or experience symptoms of mesothelioma, seek medical attention as soon as possible. You should also inform the state government if you have reasonable evidence that you’ve been handling parts containing asbestos.
Your next step should be to contact an asbestos injury lawyer at your earliest convenience. Seeking compensation after contracting mesothelioma can be complicated. For example, if your employers were responsible for giving you parts that contained asbestos, you may be compensated through workers’ comp or you may have a third party claim against the parts manufacturer. On the other hand, if you are an independent aircraft mechanic, and a vendor who sold you parts that contained asbestos, that vendor may be responsible for your damages.
An experienced asbestos injury lawyer will handle the complex investigation related to your claim as well as any negotiation with the potentially liable parties. Your lawyer also should answer your important legal questions about your mesothelioma claim while he or she fights to ensure you and your family receive full compensation.