Mesothelioma in Electricians

Electricians may be at risk of asbestos exposure when they repair wiring systems during renovation projects on older buildings. The daily exposure to these building materials can cause exposure to asbestos. In turn, electricians may later develop asbestos-related illnesses, such as mesothelioma.

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The Link Between Mesothelioma and Electricians

Electricians are responsible for installing and repairing different types of electrical products, including circuit boards, wires, and controllers.

However, between the 1930s and early 1980s, many of these products contained asbestos. Asbestos was thought to be a great asset to electrical products since it resisted heat and fire.

Electrician Checking WiresToday, asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma, a deadly type of cancer. Electricians exposed to asbestos could end up with a mesothelioma diagnosis later in life due to this exposure.

Thankfully, electricians with mesothelioma can receive medical treatments and financial compensation. Further, electricians that were exposed to asbestos while serving in the U.S. military may qualify for benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

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How Were Electricians Exposed to Asbestos?

Electricians could have been exposed to asbestos in various ways while they worked.

Asbestos could be found in:

  • Circuit boards and controllers: Resin materials that were used to make these electrical parts typically contained chrysotile asbestos.
  • Insulation: Prior to the 1980s, homes and other buildings were insulated with asbestos construction materials. It was also used to insulate drywall plumbing fixtures, boilers, and electrical systems. As electricians worked, they may have cut through this asbestos insulation and accidentally been exposed.
  • Wires: Electrical wires used asbestos-based insulation to keep them heat-resistant and fireproof.

Unfortunately, electricians also often worked in tight spaces, meaning the disturbed asbestos fibers had nowhere to go. Once asbestos fibers are in the air, it's easy for those nearby (such as electricians) to inhale them.

List of Electrical Products That Used Asbestos

Besides wiring, circuits, and controllers, there were a variety of products used by electricians that contained asbestos.

Some of these products included:

  • Arc chutes
  • Breaker boxes
  • Conduits
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Cement siding
  • Decorative plaster
  • Drywall
  • Electrical cloth
  • Electrical panels
  • Electrical partitions
  • Floor tiles
  • Spackle
  • Thermal paper
  • Turbines

If you worked with any of these electrical components and now have mesothelioma, call (877) 450-8973 to get medical and financial aid.

Why Electricians Used Asbestos

Electricians used asbestos-containing materials since the substance was fire-resistant and heat-resistant. Crucially, the risks of asbestos exposure were largely hidden by the major corporations.

Old fuse boxPrior to the early 1980s, manufacturers of asbestos-based electrical products concealed the harm that asbestos exposure could bring. They effectively poisoned electricians (and anyone else working with asbestos), making billions of dollars in the process.

By the time the truth was revealed, thousands of electricians and millions of other workers had already been exposed to asbestos-containing materials.

Nowadays, asbestos is rarely used to make electrical components. However, electricians could still be exposed to asbestos-containing products when they work on the electrical systems of older buildings.

Risk of Mesothelioma in Electricians

Both current and former electricians who have worked with asbestos-containing products may be at risk of developing mesothelioma.

No amount of asbestos exposure is a safe amount. 

Once someone breathes in or swallows asbestos fibers, they might remain in the body forever. The fibers are so strong that they won't break down and will damage the human body for decades. This long-term harm is eventually what causes mesothelioma.

Electricians may also develop other asbestos diseases like:

  • Asbestosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Pleural plaques

Electricians could come home covered in dust due to working with these products, which put their family members at risk of getting sick too.

For example, an electrician died of asbestos-related lung cancer after working with asbestos as an electrician for years. The year after his death, his daughter was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Sadly, electricians did not know that asbestos was so dangerous until decades later since manufacturers hid the risks.

Compensation Options for Electricians With Mesothelioma

Electricians or their family members who are currently suffering from mesothelioma deserve benefits and compensation. Explore your options below.

VA Benefits

If you're a U.S. veteran with mesothelioma, you may qualify for a wide range of benefits from the VA. As of 2023, mesothelioma VA benefits will pay out nearly $4,000 a month in many cases. Low-cost or free health care from top doctors is also available. File for mesothelioma VA benefits now.

Asbestos Trust Fund Claims

An asbestos trust fund claim allows you to seek compensation from trust funds established by bankrupt companies that made asbestos materials. More than $30 billion is available right now.

Our team can help you file an asbestos trust fund claim.

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  • Asbestos Trust Funds
  • Access Over $30 Billion
  • Financial Assistance

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Private Claims

If an asbestos company does not have a trust fund and is still in business, you can file a private claim or asbestos lawsuit against them. Mesothelioma claims award $1 million on average.

If you lost a loved one due to mesothelioma, you may be able to file a mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf.

Find Help for Electricians Diagnosed With Mesothelioma

Electricians suffering from mesothelioma deserve the best medical and financial resources to fight this cancer.

The team at the Mesothelioma Veterans Center can help you understand your options and help you get the resources you need following a diagnosis. This includes VA benefits, medical care from expert doctors, and financial aid.

Learn about all the ways we can help you by getting our Free Veterans Packet now.

FAQs About Mesothelioma in Electricians

Do electricians get mesothelioma?

Yes. Electricians exposed to asbestos between the 193os and early 1980s are at a high risk of mesothelioma, a cancer that forms in the body's internal lining.

They could also develop asbestos-related lung cancer if they inhale asbestos.

Thankfully, we can help civilian and military electricians who develop cancer from asbestos.

What hazard can cause mesothelioma among electricians?

Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma. Sadly, many electricians encountered asbestos in wiring, insulation, and other components on a daily basis.

The risks of asbestos were hidden by big corporations. Asbestos was a multi-billion-dollar industry, and the leaders of these corporations decided that money was more important than human life.

Does electrical wiring have asbestos?

Possibly. It depends on how old the wiring is. Modern-day electrical wiring does not use asbestos.

However, wiring that was installed prior to the early 1980s could have asbestos insulation.

Proceed with caution if you're working with or around older electrical components. Don't risk asbestos exposure, as it could cost you your life.

Veterans Support Team
Christopher Dryfoos PhotoWritten by:

Contributing Author

Christopher Dryfoos is a journalist and member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). As the grandson of the U.S. Navy’s first forensic pathologist, he aims to help veterans with mesothelioma access needed care.

  1. The Institution of Engineering and Technology. "Asbestos guidance for electricians." Retrieved from: Accessed on March 12, 2024.