even though they play an essential role in the cable car ’ s health, arsenic well as the driver and passenger ’ second safety, brake pads are those car components that we, generally, forget about. We ’ re used to thinking about the danger associated with the brakes in our cars only when these fail .
however, we ’ rhenium now getting more and more aware that brakes can besides be dangerous ascribable to the brake dust that gets released through the clash between the cast-iron disk and the brake pads when braking. This brake dust can cause serious respiratory problems.
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Recently Uncovered Risks of Disease
Brake pads are essential safety devices for controlling moving vehicles because they absorb heat and energy during braking. however, that ’ s besides why they take a distribute of break .
Although they can be crafted out of different materials – that each has drawbacks to consider – information from California and recent studies determined that particles from fomite brake pads and tires contribute greatly to contamination .
The studies say that the small bits that shed from the brakes are harmful. first, the ingredients in the brake pads can be harmful to human health because they contain heavy metals like bull, mercury, cadmium, contribute and even asbestos. second, some of the particles from brakes are smaller than a quarter of an edge and they ’ re classified as microplastics, besides dangerous to our health .
Exposure to Asbestos in Brake Dust
late developments regarding brake dust are a reminder that the connect between brake pads and serious health concerns is not new .
Although in the US car manufacturers ceased the facility of asbestos-containing brake parts more than a decade ago, in the past, brake pads were normally made with asbestos as the friction fabric .
A car ’ south stopping ability is enabled by the brake pads. Pressed into the brake rotor, a brake pad ’ s friction surface halts the momentum and keeps everyone condom. however, the clash created as the parts rub together can lead to extremely dangerous overheating and failed brakes. Asbestos was considered to be the arrant material, highly effective at preventing this overheat in brake pads and linings .
The dangerous risks from exposure to the fibrous mineral have been long known and safer substitutes are presently available. The properties that make asbestos a utilitarian roughage besides make it hazardous. asbestos fibers are extremely modest and when they ’ re exposed they can drift in the air and be inhaled. Due to their small size, they lodge abstruse in the lungs where they become a source of changeless annoyance due to their needle-like presence .
To make matters worse, the human body can not rid itself of inhaled asbestos fibers. so over time, photograph to asbestos dust may result in lung disease, lung cancer or mesothelioma .
“ In the automotive industry, the effect of asbestos exposure has been seen on workers in brake, clutch bag or gasket manufacture plants ” said Gregory A. Cade, says Gregory A. Cade, principal lawyer at the law firm Environmental Litigation Group .
But as the brake pad and linings got used and worn, asbestos fibers got released into the publicize as dust. Some of them could cling to brake parts. Because of this debris, exposure danger besides existed for the mechanics who changed brake pads.
Currently, some older and classical vehicles could still have brake pads that contain deadly amounts of asbestos fibers, still putting mechanics at risk of asbestos-related disease. The removal of an existing part that is suspected of containing asbestos and its surrogate with one which is asbestos-free should be performed with caution .
It ’ south difficult for mechanics to tell if a brake or seize separate has asbestos by merely looking at them, EPA informs. Especially for older cars, it ’ second difficult to determine if the parts contain asbestos. When the brakes are worn, it can not be easily distinguished if they contain asbestos or not. Gregory A. Cade says “ the dangers are higher for dwelling mechanics who likely lack any train and equipment to deal with asbestos. ” Therefore, it ’ s a beneficial idea to treat every fomite as if it could have brake pads that contain asbestos .
Asbestos brakes are the reason why blowing out undercarriages, bicycle wells and rims with an air hose is forbidden in shops and commercial garages. The only matter this cleaning proficiency succeeds in doing is blowing asbestos fibers into the air and exposing everyone in the workshop or garage to their dangers .
Brake debris fibers can besides pose a possible venture to household members because they can cling to work clothes. That ’ south why, to prevent the spread of fibers to early dress, knead clothes covered with brake dust should be washed individually from any early laundry .
Background on Manufacturers of Asbestos Brake Pads
Manufacturers of brake pads, such as Raybestos, used asbestos in about all of their clash products. In the 1930s, Raybestos was a penis of the Friction Materials Standards Institute and the Asbestos Textile Institute, groups that commissioned studies and discussed the risks posed by asbestos .
unfortunately, even when manufacturers knew that asbestos could cause injury, company leaders continued to use the material in their friction materials production. Raybestos is one of the manufacturers that used asbestos in its brake pads for decades. As a consequence, Raybestos, and many other companies, had to face asbestos liabilities related to their historic fabricate activities .
Although exposure to asbestos was discovered to be toxic, a plan to phase out asbestos in brakes due to health concerns for those that perform brake-related installations and automotive rectify or care was enacted in the 1970s. The accomplished phasing out of asbestos took place a belated as the 1990s largely because of campaigns by car assembly workers. The manufacturers were among those pressing for a seemliness time period to allow time to find alternatives to asbestos .
The consequences of asbestos practice continued to surface for decades in the form of cancers, such as mesothelioma, and lung diseases, such as asbestosis, that are linked to a patient ’ mho asbestos history .
About the author
Gregory A. Cade is the founder and principal lawyer of Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. He is a attached lawyer specialized in Occupational and Environmental Law who has dedicated over 20 years to helping victims of exposure to asbestos and other known toxins .