Asbestos in Laboratories

James F. Humphreys & Associates, L.C. has represented thousands of people injured by asbestos exposure. Ironically, asbestos, which is now known to cause serious diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma, was often used to protect people from other hazards such as heat and chemicals. For example, asbestos was widely used in laboratories in a variety of products.

Here are some of the ways that asbestos was used in laboratories:

    • Filters
    • Personal protective equipment such as gloves, aprons, boots, and jackets
    • Countertops & table tops
    • Insulation on electric wire and cables
    • Transite chemical fume hood linings
    • Furnaces & ovens
    • Centrifuges
    • Insulation sleeves
    • Pads, mats & rests for hot items
    • Wire screens with asbestos centers
    • Protective coverings for tongs & clamps

These products might be found in school laboratories, as well as commercial or scientific laboratories.

Most laboratory equipment and supplies are no longer manufactured with asbestos, but laboratories may still contain old asbestos-containing materials, especially chemical fume hood linings, which used to be made from Transite, an asbestos-containing cement. Transite boards used in hood linings can pose a hazard if they are damaged, cut, drilled, or repaired. Other products, such as gloves and heating pads may become friable with age and use, which means that they can be easily crumbled by hand. Friable materials can readily release asbestos fibers and should be properly disposed of.       

A number of companies manufactured asbestos-containing items used in laboratories, including:

    • Fisher Scientific
    • Arthur Scientific
    • Kewaunee Scientific Corporation
    • Longo Labs
    • Hamilton Manufacturing
    • Sargent-Welch
    • UT-Arlington
    • Taylored Industries
    • F.B. Wright Co.
    • Gage Company/Pittsburgh Gage & Supply Co., now owned by I.U. North America, Inc.

If you or a loved one has been injured by exposure to asbestos, please contact us at 304-347-50505 (local) or 877-341-2595 (toll free) for a free initial consultation. You may also reach us through our website, www.jfhumphreys.com.      

Sources

University of Florida, Environmental Health & Safety: Chemical Fume Hoods, http://www.ehs.ufl.edu/programs/lab/fumehood/

Top Class Actions, 4/28/14, “Federal Judge Recommends Couple Take Asbestos Lawsuit to Indonesia,” http://topclassactions.com/lawsuits-settlements/lawsuit-news/24562-judge-writes-Indonesia-better-forum-mesothelioma-lawsuit   

“Jury Awards $226,000,” http://www.asbestos-cancer-legal.com/news/2008/03/15/jury-awards-226000

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