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Aircraft Mechanics in Kansas' Aircraft Industry At Risk for Asbestos Diseases

Wichita, KA: Aircraft mechanics and metal workers who were involved in the manufacture and maintenance of airplanes at Boeing and other aircraft manufacturing facilities in the state of Kansas may have been exposed to asbestos and as such at risk for asbestos-related diseases.

Asbestos is mainly used as an insulating material – it is a very effective fire retardant material. Up to the 1970s, asbestos was used in aircraft brakes. Boeing began phasing out asbestos-containing products in the 1970s, and by the 1990s Boeing was nearly asbestos-free. However, people who worked as aircraft mechanics prior to this could have been exposed to asbestos and as such at risk for developing asbestos mesothelioma and asbestosis.

Asbestos mesothelioma is a fatal asbestos cancer involving the mesothelium, a protective lining that encloses most of the body's internal organs. The only known cause of mesothelioma seems to be exposure to asbestos particles in the air. The time between exposure and the appearance of symptoms can be as long as 20 to 50 years.

To date, companies which have exposed their employees to asbestos have faced thousands of lawsuits and settled hundreds of millions in damages.

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Published on Mar-16-12


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