Asbestos Prevention Tips for Mechanics

EPA has released a new pamphlet educating mechanics about how to minimize their asbestos exposure from automobile components such as brakes and clutches.

“Current Best Practices for Preventing Asbestos Exposure Among Brake and Clutch Repair Workers” provides health and safety information for professional and do-it-yourself mechanics and emphasizes the need to prevent asbestos fibers from escaping into the air during repair work.

The brochure advises that mechanics should automatically assume the possible presence of asbestos, as it could be impossible to tell if clutch and brake components contain asbestos. It also emphasizes the warning against blowing dust from brakes and clutches with compressed air and details three recognized methods for containing asbestos dust in a professional automotive shop.

The booklet provides a list of do's and don'ts for do-it-yourself mechanics, which include using pre-ground, ready-to-install parts and not taking work clothing inside the house to prevent exposing family members to asbestos dust.

Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral fiber that is highly heat resistant, can cause serious health problems when inhaled into the lungs. If products containing asbestos are disturbed, thin, lightweight asbestos fibers can be released into the air. If embedded in lung tissue, the fibers, over time, can result in lung diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma.

For more information on best practices for preventing asbestos exposure for mechanics, visit http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/brakesbrochure.html.

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