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Can My Car Give Me Mesothelioma?


Do Clutches and Brakes present a himadaWhat? I know the only thing you probably got out of that question was Clutches and Brakes. Don’t worry, I’ll explain Mesothelioma thing.

Mesothelioma is cancer of the mesothelium, the lining that protects many of the body vital organs. It most commonly affects the lungs. Mesothelioma patients typically don’t live more than a year. I know, probably still a little foggy. Basically Mesothelioma is a cancer that usually affects the area around the lungs, and it normally kills within a year.

At Home Mechanics at Risk?

Now, you’re probably thinking the same thing I did when I heard about Mesothelioma, I want to stay away from that stuff. The thing you might not know is if you work on your own car, you may be putting yourself at risk.

How so? Well let’s think about do it yourselfers in Washington. What’s the weather like, especially if you live in a place like Mazama and Winthrop? Cold and wet. Maybe not all the time, but it’s certainly not a rarity. Where do you work on your car when it is cold and wet? Outside? No, you go inside garage, shut the door and turn on the heater like any sane person would.

That’s where Mesothelioma comes in. How? First, it is important to know how you get Mesothelioma. Well, just like everybody knows almost everybody with lung cancer, got it from smoking, almost everyone with Mesothelioma got it from Asbestos exposure.

Even though there have been Millions of dollars in Asbestos lawsuits over the years, its use has only been lessened in the car industry, not completely removed. Why? Because of its durability and resistance to heat.

Classic Cars Can Give You Cancer

Fortunately there are easy ways almost complete remove the danger of Mesothelioma when working on your car. First, you need to know where to watch out for. While a number of different car parts use asbestos, there are two that you really need to worry about. Clutches and brakes.

Just touching asbestos probably isn’t going to kill you as long as you don't stick your fingers in your mouth. Breathing in asbestos dust however, can pose a very large problem. As we all know clutches and brake wear down, creating dust. Much of this dusk gets trapped in the brake housing and clutch compartment. Then, when you open it up. POOF! Its right in your face and on your clothes. You may not see it but it is most likely there.

How to Prevent Asbestos From Getting to You

So how can you prevent this from happening and prevent yourself from being the next guy to hire an asbestos lawyer?

First of all, error on the side of caution, try to always use this procedure when working on brakes or clutches. While many brakes and clutches nowadays do not contain any asbestos, many still do and it is very hard to tell the difference. (Special caution to those working classics and older cars. Older parts and even replacement parts for older cars are likely to have an especially high concentration of Asbestos).

Being in a closed garage without ventilation, can increase the likelihood of being exposed, So don’t do it with the garage all closed up.

The procedure is simple and should be done before any other work on the clutch or brakes.

1. Use a spray bottle with a fine mist mode to wet the brake and clutch parts. A solvent or water with a detergent can be used (note: you don’t want to use the pointed stream mode, this can cause dust and dust is where the damage is done).

2. Wipe the area of the clutch and brakes with a rag to remove all dust.

3. Dispose of the rag in an airtight container. (Remember dust is where the problem is, once the rag is dry it can release asbestos dust, disposing in an airtight container insures this doesn’t happen)

Pretty simple right, that’s all it takes to almost completely remove the danger of Mesothelioma. Well, that and washing your hands well when your finished, but remember these are preventative measures. If you didn’t use these techniques before, there is a good chance you are still at risk.

If you think you may be at risk of Asbestos Cancer, contact a Washington Asbestos Lawyer, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer

For more information on Mesothelioma in the car industry check out osha.gov.