Asbestos Poses Risk to Roofers

Mesothelioma Risk for Roofers

By Zac Pingle, Staff Writer

Roofing is a dangerous job, not just because of the risk of falling, but also because of asbestos that’s still found in older buildings today. Before 1989, asbestos was commonly used in roofing tiles for its high tensile strength and relatively low cost. However, when these asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) are cut, drilled, grinded on or otherwise damaged, they release microscopic fibers into the air which cause mesothelioma and asbestosis. Even though the mining and use of asbestos in construction materials has been banned, it can still be found in buildings where the owner or company who installed the ACMs failed to remove the asbestos or mitigate its danger.

Facts About Asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally-occuring soft metal which was mined and used for its heat and electrical resistant properties since the early 20th Century until 1989. The sharp fibers of asbestos can burrow into alveoli, which are sack-like cells in the lungs responsible for transferring oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. When a lung cell dies as a result of asbestos fibers, it releases a toxin that forms tumors over a matter of decades. Asbestos exposure can be very difficult to detect, and symptoms of mesothelioma and asbestosis may not develop until years after exposure. These symptoms include:

  • Coughing that gets worse over time.

  • Abdominal pain

  • Coughing blood

  • Muscle weakness and fatigue

  • Weight loss and loss of appetite

  • Trouble swallowing


ACMs found in cases involving roofers typically involve roofing tiles. However, other materials that roofers come into contact with, which also have been known to contain asbestos, include:

  • Attic and wall Insulation

  • Concrete

  • Gaskets

  • Spray insulation

  • Piping

After Asbestos Exposure

Mesothelioma is a debilitating illness, and only prompt medical treatment can mitigate damage from asbestos exposure. If you believe you’ve been exposed to asbestos, inform your supervisor immediately and seek an examination from a medical professional.

Asbestos exposure can lead to large financial, physical and psychological damages. Fortunately, you can seek compensation for you damages in the form of an injury lawsuit. Your first step should be to collect evidence that you; 1) were exposed to asbestos, 2) received measurable damage as a result of asbestos exposure, 3) the damage you recieved was preventable. Make a portfolio of your evidence in the form of medical documents, bills, work reports, abatement reports, emails, witness contact information. You should also consider keeping a journal of your process and how asbestos exposure has changed your day-to-day life.

Your next big step should be to contact an experienced asbestos-injury lawyer. An experienced asbestos-injury lawyer will understand that your biggest priority should be to recovery, and will take care of the larger aspects of your case on your behalf. Furthermore, your asbestos-injury lawyer will know how to track down who’s responsible for your damages, and will pursue damages in court if necessary. Even if you do find the company who failed to report or remove asbestos they were responsible for, it can be challenging to recover a fair settlement. Asbestos-injury lawyers have investigators and experts who help to strengthen your case and will know how to deal with large companies that are focused on their bottom lines.

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