Individuals who work in the metal industry often encounter asbestos exposure. Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford is committed to seeking justice for metal workers exposed to asbestos. 

Individuals working in the metal industry face daily hazards. Metal plant workers often use highly specialized equipment to melt, cut, and shape metal. The working conditions in a metal plant are hot and often don’t have much ventilation. The safety gear used by metal workers only makes conditions worse.

However, heat and poor ventilation aren’t the only encumbrances for metal workers. Employees often come into contact with asbestos, commonly used in many products as an insulator for heat. Anytime a worker cuts or molds a product containing asbestos, tiny fibers are released into the air and easily inhaled by unsuspecting employees.

Prior to the 1980s, companies considered asbestos necessary for protection against heat and fire. Thus, numerous older buildings used asbestos for insulation purposes. The safety equipment that organizations gave metal workers to protect them from fire and heat often included gloves and clothes that contained asbestos.

The dangers of asbestos became known as numerous studies linked asbestos exposure with the development of mesothelioma and lung cancer.

As an example, one study examined the correlation between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma. Of the 562 individuals who developed mesothelioma, the study found that 344 had developed the disease from occupational-related exposure to asbestos.

Metal Workers and Asbestos Exposure in New York

Metal Workers And Asbestos Exposure: The Risks

Metal workers are commonly exposed to asbestos. They regularly work with asbestos products and machinery for their fire- and heat-resistant properties. Before the 1980s, most safety gear included asbestos to protect against the heat.

Since metal workers receive so much exposure to asbestos, many develop severe and fatal illnesses, including mesothelioma and lung cancer. Diseases are common in employees whose jobs involved metal working before the 1980s when many companies failed to implement appropriate safeguards.

Metal workers who perform their work in older facilities may still be subject to asbestos exposure. There is no outright ban on asbestos in the United States, and many buildings still contain asbestos for insulation. In addition, many organizations continue to import asbestos products into the country.

Anyone exposed to asbestos particles can contract mesothelioma or similar diseases. Any time asbestos particles are airborne, nearby people can inhale them, no matter their profession. However, metal workers in the following roles have a significant risk of contracting severe illnesses:

Metal Lathers

A metal lather is responsible for molding metal into a specific shape. They use their tools to sand and smooth the metal. However, metal lathe equipment often contains asbestos. During the sanding process, asbestos particles are released into the air.


A machinist works with equipment to mold, cut, and shape metal. Often, the equipment requires significant amounts of heat to cast the metal appropriately. Machinist equipment commonly includes asbestos, which releases into the air anytime metal products are melted or cut.


A welder joins pieces of metal using heavy machinery and tools that exude high amounts of heat. Often, tools include welding rods that contain asbestos. Constant use of the welding rods results in asbestos exposure.

Metal lathers, machinists, and welders aren’t the only metal workers at risk from asbestos exposure. Other roles that may have a significant risk of asbestos exposure include:

  • Boilermakers
  • Blacksmiths
  • Industrial workers
  • Insulators
  • Ironworkers
  • Metal machine workers
  • Pipefitters
  • Sheet metal workers
  • Shipyard workers
  • Smelters
  • Solderers

If your prior or current role involves shaping, molding, or cutting metal, asbestos exposure is likely.

Metal Workers and Asbestos Exposure: Companies Involved

Many companies and organizations currently or previously used asbestos in their machinery, safety gear, equipment, and building insulation.

Companies whose activities are known to include asbestos in products, equipment, or insulation include:

This list is not comprehensive. Any metal worker can suffer from asbestos exposure, no matter how small or large their organization is.

Metal Workers and Asbestos Exposure Lawsuits

Numerous employees and family survivors have filed claims against their employer and other entities for asbestos exposure leading to severe and fatal diseases, including mesothelioma. While most lawsuits result in a settlement between the entity and the victim, others lead to a trial.

One Delaware case was filed by an ironworker who worked for DuPont in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1980s. The defendant developed mesothelioma due to installing panels for DuPont manufactured by RCH Newco. The case is assumed to have settled, as the outcome remains unpublished.

A 2010 Pennsylvania case was filed in which a steel mill worker who died of mesothelioma was awarded $50M.

A case involving a metalsmith who worked for the U.S. Navy resulted in a favorable verdict of $21M. He sued the manufacturers of various valves and gaskets that included asbestos in their products.

A sheet metal worker in Long Beach Naval Shipyard won a case in 1995 after a mesothelioma diagnosis. His case became the standard for future asbestos cases and required future defendants to prove their products containing asbestos did not cause mesothelioma or similar diseases.

These are examples of a handful of metal workers and asbestos exposure lawsuits. Thousands of mesothelioma victims have placed their own claims against companies for their asbestos exposure. Many cases don’t go to court; they are settled beforehand.

Seeking Legal Compensation for Asbestos Exposure

As a known carcinogen, asbestos exposure is correlated with numerous cases of mesothelioma and lung cancer. If you’ve been exposed to asbestos through your job or other means, it’s essential to seek an evaluation from a medical professional. Symptoms of mesothelioma, lung cancer, and related diseases include:

  • Wheezing and painful coughing
  • Crackling in your chest
  • Ongoing chest pain
  • Bloody sputum
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty breathing

Any of these symptoms may indicate serious illness related to your asbestos exposure.

You can collect financial compensation in a lawsuit against your prior or previous employer, a manufacturer, or another entity responsible for your asbestos exposure. Financial compensation includes medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional pain and suffering.

While financial damages can’t heal you from your disease, they can allow you to focus on your health and protect your family’s future.

It’s essential to start a claim as soon as you realize you have an illness related to asbestos exposure. States have statute of limitations laws in place that limit the time a victim has to file a lawsuit.

However, even if your asbestos exposure occurred years ago, you may be eligible to file a claim if your diagnosis happened within the past few years.

Metal Workers and Asbestos Exposure Lawyers

Mesothelioma and lung cancer are severe and often fatal illnesses. The attorneys at Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC understand the severity of asbestos exposure. We have won over $1 billion in financial compensation for victims and families in asbestos-related claims.

Our firm was the first in New York State to win a court verdict for an asbestos victim, and we haven’t stopped pursuing justice for our clients since. We offer free consultations for all of our clients.

There is no harm in seeking legal advice, even if you’re not sure whether your case qualifies for a claim. Contact our office to schedule your appointment with our metal workers and asbestos exposure attorneys today.

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