If you worked as an electrician or around them, you may have been exposed to asbestos because it was in many types of electrical equipment, which may lead to a chronic and possibly fatal disease. If that event, you may be entitled to compensation for the harm you suffer.
Satterley & Kelley, PLLC represents those afflicted with asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma. We file compensation claims, negotiate settlement agreements, and litigate cases when necessary. If you’re diagnosed with mesothelioma or another disease caused by asbestos, call us at 855-385-9532.
Why Was Asbestos Used in Electrical Equipment?
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that is fire, heat, and electricity-resistant. In the early to mid-20th century, asbestos was frequently used as insulation in electrical wiring and equipment. It was found in electrical insulation materials, which included paper and cloth. Some of the reasons why asbestos was used include:
- Fire resistance: Asbestos is highly resistant to heat and flames, making it an excellent choice for insulating electrical components and equipment. In case of a short circuit or electrical fault, the presence of asbestos could help contain or prevent fires from spreading
- Insulation properties: Asbestos has excellent electrical insulating properties, which means it can effectively prevent the flow of electric current and protect against electrical shocks
- Durability: Asbestos is a durable material, and when used in electrical products, it provides long-lasting insulation and protection
- Low Cost: Asbestos was relatively inexpensive and readily available during its peak use, so it was attractive to manufacturers trying to cut costs
- Resistance to chemicals and corrosion: Asbestos is resistant to many chemicals and corrosion, so it’s suitable for various electrical applications, especially in harsh environments
- Flexibility and malleability: Asbestos could be easily woven, incorporated, or molded into various substances and forms, allowing manufacturers to create custom shapes and sizes for specific electrical components
- Noise reduction: Asbestos helps reduce vibration and noise, further enhancing its appeal for specific applications
Companies involved in asbestos mining and processing effectively kept secret the facts that asbestos is toxic and cancer-causing. Keeping that quiet helped them sell asbestos but exposed millions of people to its potentially lethal fibers.
What Asebstos-Containing Products Were Used in Wiring and Electrical Products?
Some typical applications include:
- Electrical Wiring Insulation: Asbestos was used around electrical wires to protect them from heat and potential fire hazards. Asbestos insulation was particularly common in older buildings, where it could be found in wiring systems throughout the structure
- Electrical Cloth and Tape: Asbestos cloth and tape were used to wrap around electrical components, wires, and connections to protect them from heat and fire. This cloth could be found in areas where heat was generated, such as in lighting fixtures, motors, and switches
- Electrical Panels and Circuit Breakers: Some older electrical panels and circuit breakers contained asbestos-based components, including paper or boards, for insulation and fireproofing
- Fuse Boxes: Asbestos was sometimes used in fuse boxes and panels for its fire-resistant properties. Asbestos-containing materials could be present in the insulation around fuses or as fuse box components
- Capacitors and Resistors: Asbestos was used in some capacitors and resistors to provide insulation and protection. These components could be found in older electrical equipment and appliances
- Heat Shields and Insulation: Asbestos was used in heat shields and insulation for electrical equipment to prevent heat-related damage and improve safety
- Electric Motors: Asbestos-containing materials were used in some electric motors as insulation to protect the motor windings and prevent electrical shorts
- Junction Boxes: Asbestos-based materials were in some junction boxes for insulation and fire protection
Asbestos found its way into everything an engineer could find a use in every product a company could sell.
Where Were Asbestos-Containing Electrical Products Sold?
Some of the more common places and industries where asbestos-containing electrical products were utilized include:
- Residential Buildings: Asbestos was commonly used in residential buildings for electrical wiring insulation, electrical cloth, and electrical panels. Older homes, especially those built before the 1980s, may still contain asbestos-containing electrical materials
- Commercial Buildings: Similar to residential buildings, asbestos-containing electrical products were used in commercial structures for wiring insulation, panels, and electrical equipment
- Industrial Facilities: Asbestos was used in electrical equipment and components in industrial settings. This includes factories, power plants, refineries, and other industrial facilities. In facilities like power plants, refineries, and foundries, the asbestos protected equipment from outside heat produced by whatever industrial process was being used
- Schools and Educational Institutions: Asbestos-containing electrical materials could be found in older schools and college buildings, where it was used in wiring, panels, and other electrical equipment
- Hospitals: Asbestos-containing electrical products might have been used in older hospital buildings for electrical insulation and equipment
- Public Infrastructure: Asbestos-containing electrical products were used in public infrastructure projects, including tunnels and transportation systems
- Ships and Marine Applications: Asbestos was used in electrical components and insulation in ships and marine vessels for its fire-resistant properties
- Aircraft: In some older aircraft, asbestos-containing electrical products were used for insulation and fire protection
- Automotive Industry: Asbestos was used in the automotive industry, including in electrical components and wiring in older vehicles
- Appliances: Some older electrical appliances, such as ovens, toasters, and hair dryers, contained asbestos in their electrical components and insulation
These locations were especially hazardous when asbestos-containing products were first installed, repaired, or removed. The more they were disturbed, cut into, or pulled apart, the more asbestos fibers could be released into the air, inhaled, or swallowed.
Call Us Today For A Free Initial Consultation
If you or a loved one has an asbestos-related disease, including mesothelioma, while working as an electrician or near them, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your hardship. Call us toll-free at 855-385-9532 or contact us online to arrange a free initial consultation with a lawyer.