An electrician specializes in the operation, installation, repair and maintenance of electrical systems, including wiring, circuit boards and other electronics. Electricians were exposed to asbestos on a daily basis. Prior to the mid-1980s, terminal blocks or terminal boards were composed of asbestos-containing plastic molding compound. A terminal block or board is an insulating base equipped with terminals for connecting wires. Generally, terminal boards and blocks were made of ebony asbestos or Bakelite. Electricians cut, drilled and filed terminal blocks and boards using a fine file. These three manipulations created visible asbestos-containing dust and fibers the electricians inhaled.

All types of electrical equipment have arc chutes. In circuit breakers, arc chutes insulate and protect circuits from shorting. Prior to the mid-1980s, arc chutes were composed of asbestos-containing plastic molding compound. The purpose of an arc chute was to prevent an arc, a high voltage spark, from jumping from one contact to another. The arc chute acted as a barrier between two contacts. When a high voltage spark hit the arc chute, it cracked and dust and particles were generated. Electricians performed routine maintenance on electrical equipment, but before doing so, they often used an air hose to remove all dust and debris that accumulated as a result of the high voltage spark hitting the arc chutes. This also caused the electrician to be exposed to asbestos.

Every worker who handled asbestos-containing plastic molding compound, from the truck driver to the molder and to the electrician that drilled and filed the finished product, was exposed to asbestos. If you or a loved one worked with or around plastic molding compound and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or an asbestos-related disease, please contact us today.

Examples of Asbestos-Containing Electrical Products

Arc Chutes


Arc Chutes Contactors

Circuit Board

Fuse Block

Integrated Circuit Boards Fuse Blocks


Motor Starter
Resistors, Capacitors and Other Components Motor Starter

Additional Information

Auburn Plastics

Diemolding Corporation, Canastota, NY

Durez Plastics, North Tonawanda, NY

General Electric Plastics, Selkirk, NY

Norton Laboratories, Lockport, NY

Fiberite Corporation


Reichhold Chemicals

Rogers Corporation

Spaulding Fibre

Specialty Insulation Manufacturing Company

Varcum a.k.a. Reichhold Chemical

Voplex Corporation