Asbestos in Automotive Parts

Although asbestos was used in ancient Greek and Roman times, it did not regain popularity until the Industrial Revolution. After this, many different types of industries utilized asbestos for its amazing resistance to heat, flame, chemicals, electricity, and even biodegradation. While many people are aware of the use of asbestos in construction and shipping, you may not know that it once was–and still is–an additive in several different automotive parts.

You may believe that asbestos was banned starting in the 1980s. However, while it was phased out from some industries, it can still be used in several others, including cars. In fact, one study found that importing asbestos-containing brakes has actually increased in the past years. In the automotive industry, car parts must be highly resistant to heat and flame as they are exposed to the hot engine or heated brakes.

There are several different automotive parts that can contain asbestos. First, this material has been found in hoodliners, or the material on the inside of your front hood. Because this area is above the engine, it must be able to sustain high temperatures.

Next, another popular asbestos-containing component is brakes. Brake linings must withstand high amounts of friction-induced heat and pressure, and asbestos is recognized for its ability to do so. Additionally, clutches can also use asbestos additives. Lastly, even small parts such as gaskets, heat seals, and valves may have asbestos.

Sadly, due to the amount of asbestos in car parts, mechanics and other people who work with car parts can suffer from deadly asbestos exposure. Brake pads and clutches, despite their highly resistant abilities, naturally wear down and need replacing. When an automotive professional removes old asbestos brake liners or clutch pads, it can release a cloud of tiny asbestos fibers into the air. From here, inhaling or ingesting the fibers can eventually result in a terrible cancer such as mesothelioma.

If you now have mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure, it is natural to be worried and confused. However, you need all the information that you can get about asbestos and mesothelioma so you can quickly and correctly address your needs.