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Asbestos Exposure on Lathers


Lathers are at elevated risk of mesothelioma because their work with ceiling tiles, wall plaster, walls frameworks and duct work may expose them to breathing asbestos dust. Asbestos was used in many building materials in older construction, and asbestos fibers may be inhaled when disturbed during remodeling and renovation projects.

Metal lathers often work for construction companies and contractors that perform plastering, drywall and lathing installation. All workers in construction trades face increased risk of exposure to asbestos and development of mesothelioma, a form of respiratory cancer, as well as asbestosis, a chronic scarring of the lungs that causes breathing problems.

Employers should provide lathers and lathe workers with breathing protection to prevent the inhalation of asbestos that can scar the lungs and cause chronic conditions and respiratory cancer. But in many cases, workers have no breathing protection. Both an employer and an asbestos manufacturer may be legally at fault for allowing you to develop a preventable disease such as mesothelioma.

Older homes and buildings may have walls constructed of lathe and plaster or asbestos cement, an older building technique used before the introduction of sheetrock.  Horizontal strips called lathe were nailed onto the wall studs to provide a surface for the application of plaster. Plaster contained asbestos as an additive to add strength and fire-proofing.

Sanding plaster or removing all asbestos-containing plaster may release asbestos fibers into the air and expose workers working in proximity.  A lather may develop mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos, even if not directly handling asbestos insulation or other asbestos materials.

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