Electricians and Mesothelioma

Electricians and Mesothelioma

If you are one of the thousands of US electricians and mesothelioma has impacted your life, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact our office today to learn if you are and get started right away. You can also learn more about the mesothelioma claims process here

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates more than 700,000 people are currently employed as electricians. Sadly, before 1990 (mostly), Electricians and Mesothelioma have gone hand in hand. These tradespeople

  • install
  • maintain
  • repair
  • modify
  • and dismantle

electrical circuits and systems in:

  • homes
  • offices
  • schools
  • theaters
  • hospitals
  • factories
  • facilities
  • military bases
  • harbors
  • ground transportation hubs
  • rail systems
  • and all other places where electricity is used.

Electricians work with wiring and various electrical components, including circuit breakers, power distribution blocks, and junction boxes. However, before the 1980s, these and other electrical components used asbestos. This was done for reasons of safety. Asbestos kept wires from causing fire if they were to overheat or short out.

While asbestos may have been beneficial for protecting property, the same was not necessarily true regarding protecting human life. Under certain circumstances, asbestos fibers could break free into the air. Once airborne, the fibers can be inhaled or ingested.

Mesothelioma and Electrical Workers

This very occurrence befell many electricians employed in the trade between the 1940s and possibly as late as the 1990s (and in some instances, it is still happening today when electricians are involved in the renovation of pre-1980s structures but do so without proper safeguards in place).

As a result, some electricians since the 1940s—seldom even aware that they had breathed or swallowed asbestos fibers—decades later received word from their doctors that they had developed:

  • mesothelioma,
  • asbestos lung cancer
  • asbestosis
  • or other conditions scientifically linked to occupational asbestos exposure.

If asbestos exposure has led to the onset of mesothelioma in the life of an electrician or a loved one, know there is hope. It is possible to fight mesothelioma and hold accountable the companies responsible for causing it. Holding them accountable means making them financially compensate the injured for the cost of medical care, lost wages, and more.

Who Qualifies as an Electrician?

If you are one of the thousands of US electricians and mesothelioma has impacted your life, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact our office today to learn if you are and get started right away. You can also learn more about the mesothelioma claims process here

An electrician is anyone who is or was in the trade of making electric power available for use by owners and occupants of structures of all types.

Tasks typically performed by electricians include:

  • Routing wires
  • Installing outlets, switches, rheostats, fuses, and circuit breakers
  • Connecting circuits
  • Troubleshooting electrical problems
  • Working with equipment to cut, crimp, splice, bend, drill, and hammer electrical components

Within the electrician, trade is a specialty field—the lineman electrician. This electrician works with high-voltage transmission lines that carry electricity long distances from a powerplant or other large-scale generating facility to users.

  • Lineman electricians typically work with:
  • Transformers
  • Voltage regulators
  • Cable
  • Fused cutouts
  • Capacitor banks

Electricians and Asbestos Exposure

If you are one of the thousands of US electricians and mesothelioma has impacted your life, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact our office today to learn if you are and get started right away. You can also learn more about the mesothelioma claims process here

Asbestos was very common whenever the world knew nothing about the health risks, and it was used in just about everything in the world of electricity. However, the main reason that asbestos was used for everything was that it was very fireproof and resistant to heat. Electrical fires are very common, and the asbestos sheathing prevented the sparks from turning into an all-out fire.

Pre-1980s, the electrical wire was customarily sheathed in asbestos-lined cloth. This cloth insulated the wire so it could be handled while live current flowed through (asbestos does not conduct electricity, which is why it was also used in junction boxes, circuit panels, outlets, and switches). Asbestos became a health hazard whenever the asbestos on the wiring was disturbed. If the product was cut, crimped, spliced, twisted, filed, hammered, or drilled, it could send the asbestos into the air. Even putting too much pressure with muscles on the product could cause the asbestos to become disturbed.

Whenever the asbestos was disturbed, the bits of asbestos would float in the air. Asbestos is light like dust, and it can stay in the air for hours and even days before it falls to the floor, and even then, someone could cause a draft, and all the asbestos would fly out into the air again. Electricians could walk through the invisible cloud of asbestos particles and inhale or ingest some of them. Even if the electricians were far from where the cloud initially was, the asbestos particles could be blown towards where they were working, and then the same risk of swallowing or inhaling asbestos dust happens again.

Electrician Working Conditions and Asbestos

Most electricians tend to work in very small indoor areas, areas with poor ventilation, and are often small, so if a cloud of asbestos particles came up, they would be extremely hard to avoid. Linemen electricians had the advantage of being outside, where the wind would take care of most of the light particles and blow them far away, but they needed to go inside on occasion, so it wasn’t much of an advantage.

Once the asbestos fibers find their way inside the electrician's body, they stay inside the body and are impossible for the body to remove naturally due to their shape. They start corrupting the healthy cells around the lungs, heart, and stomach, and the slow infestation and transformation from healthy cells to cancerous cells happen. This can turn into mesothelioma or any other asbestos disease.

Electricians and Asbestos Exposure From Non-Electrical Building Materials

If you are one of the thousands of US electricians and mesothelioma has impacted your life, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact our office today to learn if you are and get started right away. You can also learn more about the mesothelioma claims process here

In addition to products electricians used, asbestos was an additive to many construction materials used by other trades. Electricians almost surely would have encountered these on the job.

The list includes:

  • Drywall
  • Insulation
  • Ceiling and floor tiles
  • Spackle
  • Decorative plaster
  • Cement pipes

Drywall was a construction material that electricians commonly encountered when working on buildings that were already far along toward completion or that were undergoing modification, such as during a remodel or retrofit. In working on these projects, electricians need to cut into sections of drywall to access the wires and connectors hidden behind them.

The drywall built before the 1980s was enhanced with asbestos to make the drywall sheets stronger, lighter, better at absorbing noise, and better at holding temperatures. The fireproofing quality of asbestos was also nice too, and very valuable. However, cutting into the wall raised the risk of disturbing the asbestos.

But wires weren’t just in walls; ceilings and floor tiles could also hide electrical components and wires that electricians need to access. Asbestos was used in these materials too, and getting to the electrical stuff inside the ceiling and floor was another way for electricals to be exposed to asbestos.

Disturbing Asbestos Doing Electrical Work

The act of drilling or cutting into drywall or tiles lined with asbestos was a major health hazard for electricians with no real protection from the fibers. Often, they would be searching for these electrical wires inside small areas that had next to no ventilation, so the risk was increased. The loose particles of asbestos would float around the electricians who had no way of protecting themselves, and they would become trapped inside the lungs or intestines.

Years and even decades later, the trapped asbestos can induce harmful changes to the cells that line the lungs and the abdominal cavity. In particularly vulnerable electricians, these cellular changes pave the way for the onset of cancer—the two most prevalent types being mesothelioma and asbestos lung cancer.

However, other asbestos-related diseases can also be triggered by trapped asbestos particles. They include scarring of the lungs (asbestosis) and other damaging conditions.

Electricians and Asbestos Exposure From Power Tools

In the course of their work, electricians routinely make use of power tools. These include:

  • Electrically operated drills
  • saws
  • screwdrivers
  • and socket wrenches.

Before the 1980s, such tools featured asbestos-containing components to prevent the heat generated by the implement’s induction coil motor from damaging or destroying internal parts and from making the tool too hot to handle.

Simply operating these tools under normal conditions could be enough to cause small amounts of asbestos to break free of the mineral's parts. Asbestos could also break free any time the tool’s body was opened for service—inserting test leads from a multimeter, for instance, could be enough to disturb the asbestos within.

When asbestos is disturbed, its fibers can wrench themselves away from the part in which they are held. Upon breaking free, these particles rise into the air and stay there for hours or days.

During the entirety of the time they are airborne, those asbestos particles can be breathed or swallowed by the tool user. Either way, the particles can end up trapped deep inside vital organs, where it is possible for them to begin the process of mutating healthy cells into cancerous ones. At the end of the process, mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer, and other asbestos-related diseases can emerge.

Electricians and Asbestos Exposure From Working Alongside Other Trades

Electricians faced asbestos exposure from electrical products, general construction materials, and power tools. Yet another element of risk in their line of work—asbestos exposure due to showing up at the Jobsite day after day.

They worked alongside other trades at the site, such as:

  • plumbers
  • painters
  • insulation installers
  • bricklayers
  • and many more.

Between 1940 and 1970, virtually every trade used asbestos construction materials. And those other trades performed many of the same tasks as electricians in erecting or remodeling a structure. Other trades also experienced asbestos exposure that developed into mesothelioma. These trades include:


Typically, electricians would follow behind another trade, so there was a span of time—short though it might be—in which asbestos released into the air by the previous trade might have time to waft out of the area or settle on the ground. However, there were occasions when the work of the electricians had to be sequenced concurrently with one or more other trades to complete a particular phase within a tight deadline. In such circumstances, it might not have been possible for electricians to avoid coming into contact with airborne asbestos from other trades—especially if the other trades were toiling just a relatively short distance away, say in the opposite corner of the same room.

Electricians and Asbestos Exposure From Personal Protective Equipment(PPE)

Electricians wore protective gear from 1940 to 1990, and the personal protective equipment contained asbestos to prevent electrocution or burns. Additionally, it increased the durability of the items, allowing them to be used more often. Despite the durability, the hard use that electricians put them to caused them to become frayed.

The asbestos inside the protective gear would be released and disturbed, and then there was a massive risk of those particles being breathed in or swallowed. The electrician would have gotten those particles into their lungs or abdomens, and the slow process would begin. Decades after this initial exposure, the electrician would have gotten a doctor’s diagnosis that they had mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer, asbestosis, or other asbestos-related conditions, which would upend their life and health.

Electricians’ Rights to Compensation After Asbestos Exposure

If you are one of the thousands of US electricians and mesothelioma has impacted your life, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact our office today to learn if you are and get started right away. You can also learn more about the mesothelioma claims process here

Were you or a loved one exposed to asbestos and today have mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer, asbestosis, or another asbestos-related disease?

You and/or they may be entitled to money in compensation for the health harms you and/, or they have suffered. This is money to pay for treatment, replenish lost wages, and mitigate various other damages. You can get compensation and justice for the pain you and/or they have suffered. You can sue the companies who made or sold the asbestos-related products that you were exposed to, and you might even be able to win without even going to court. Most companies don’t want to try and justify why they sold asbestos and knowingly exposed you, so they would be more likely to settle out of court. This often gives you just as much compensation as a trial would.

If you have found that the company you want to sue has gone bankrupt, then you can take advantage of an ‘asbestos trust’ that is specifically set up to give you the compensation that goes around the shield from personal injury lawsuits bankrupt companies get. Contact us today to learn more about your rights.

Do You Have A Claim?

If your health has been affected by exposure to asbestos, report it here.
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Disclaimer: Attorney Advertising. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. Additionally, we provide medical information that does not, nor is it intended to, replace professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. Prior results does not guarantee a similar outcome. This website and its contents are provided by The Meso Advisors at Bailey & Glasser, LLP.

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