Mesothelioma In Brake Mechanics on the Rise


 I am often asked why are you so many  brake mechanics coming down with mesothelioma?  The answer is because there was asbestos in brakes well into the 1990s and exposure continued to occur  during the repair of older cars for at least another decade.  The following article  written by Roger Worthington  his instructive  and upsetting.


Beginning before 1930, GM also sold drum brake linings as replacement parts that were

manufactured by other entities including Marshall Eclipse (1949 to 1963), AMCO (1951-65),

Abex (1954-1979), Bendix (1946-1980), Raybestos-Manhattan (1946-1980), Thermoid Division

of H.K. Porter (1974-1980), Ferodo (1950s), Mulitbestos (1950s), and Universal Friction (1956-


For its heavy duty trucks and buses, GM bought complete brake assemblies which included an

asbestos lining from Rockwell Brake Division, Eaton Brake Division, Wagner Electric (1974-

82), B.F. Goodrich (1974-82); Bendix, Dayton-Walther, Unibond, American Coleman, Dana

Axle, Kelsey-Hayes. Replacement drum brake shoes and linings for medium and heavy duty

trucks were supplied by Abex (1937-88); B.F. Goodrich (1979-84); Bendix (1951 to at least

1987); and Rockwell International (1954-85) and disc brake pads for heavy-duty trucks were

bought from Johns-Manville (1965-69); Raybestos (1967); Bendix (1971-90) and Abex (1970-


GM did not manufacture the clutch plate facings that were components of its cars. Instead,

manual clutch plate facings were bought from Raymark (1965-1985); H.K. Porter (1965-1971)

and clutch assemblies, including asbestos facings, were bought from Borg Warner (1930-1985).

CHRYSLER CORPORATION (now DiamlerChrysler) was incorporated in Delaware in 1925.

From 1959 to 1988, Chrysler manufactured drum brake linings in its Trenton Chemical Plant in

Trenton, Michigan. The drum brake linings contained 50% chrysotile asbestos by weight and

were sold under the trade names of “Cycleweld,” “Cyclebond,” and “Mopar.” Chrysler brake

linings, brake shoes and brake support plates have had the pendent star logo stamped on them.

In addition to manufacturing drum brake linings, Chrysler purchased disc brake linings and other

asbestos friction products from Abex Corp. (1958-1961, 1965-1969, 1979); Johns-Manville

(1958-1962; 1965-1968); Bendix (1960-1981); Raybestos-Manhattan (1974); Marshall, Delco-

Moraine (a division of GM), Kelsey Hayes and Ferodo. These brake parts were sold by Chrysler

under the trade names of “Cycleweld,” “Cyclebond,” and “Mopar.”

Chrysler has never manufactured asbestos-containing clutches but rather bought the products

from Luk, Fichtel & Sachs, Borg & Beck division of Borg Warner, Long Co., Lip-Rollway and

the Spicer Division of Dana Corporation. The replacement parts that Chrysler obtained from

these suppliers were marketed under the “Mopar” trade name.

Chrysler is also the successor-in-interest to the American Motors Corporation. AMC sold

asbestos containing friction products manufactured by Bendix Corporation, Kelsey-Hayes, Borg

& Beck (a division of Borg Warner), Dana Corporation, Valeo, Wagner Electric, and Abex.

FORD MOTOR COMPANY was incorporated in Delaware in 1919. Ford never manufactured

asbestos containing brake linings or clutch facings. Ford purchased all of its asbestos friction

products from outside suppliers. Ford believes that the brake linings contained between 40 and

60% chrysotile asbestos, by weight.

Ford sold the brake linings, pad and clutch facings under the trade names of “Ford,” “Mercury”

and “Motorcraft.” The aftermarket parts were sold under the name of “Ford” or “Ford Authorized


ABEX CORPORATION began in 1902, as The American Brake Shoe and Foundry Company.

In 1916, the American Brake Shoe and Foundry Company became a Delaware Corporation. In

1926, the American Brake Shoe and Foundry Company formed a subsidiary named the

American Brake Materials Corporation, which, in 1933, changed its name to the American

Brakeblok Corporation. Four years later, American Brakeblock Corporation was merged in the

American Brake Shoe and Foundry Company to be operated as the American Brakeblok

Division of that company. In 1943, The American Brake Shoe and Foundry Company changed

its name to the American Brake Shoe Company. Finally, in 1966, The American Brake Shoe

Company changed its name to Abex Corporation.

Abex manufactured and sold asbestos-containing friction products from 1926 to 1987 under

various trade names, including: American Brake Materials (1930 to 1971); Brakeblok (1936 to

1971); American Brakeblok (1938 to 1987); Abex (1941 to 1987); Brake Shoe (1943 to 1987);

Esline (1965 to 1987); Stopper (1966 to 1987); American Eagle (1974 to 1980); Crossing Guard

(1975 to 1987); Protector (1975 to 1987) and 121 Super Brakes (1975 to 1987). All automotive

friction products manufactured by Abex contained approximately 25 to 65% chrysotile asbestos.

THE BENDIX CORPORATION was incorporated in Delaware in 1929. In 1985, it merged

into Allied Corporation. In 1987, Allied Corporation was merged into AlliedSignal Inc., which

was subsequently purchased by Honeywell. Bendix manufactured asbestos drum brake linings,

disc brake pads, brake blocks and, for a short period of time, clutch facings in its plants in Green

Island (Troy) New York and Cleveland, Tennessee.

The drum brake linings averaged approximately 50% chrysotile asbestos by weight. The drum

brake linings were distributed under the following trade names: Bendix (1939 – present);

Marshall (1939 – present); Bulls-eye (1939-1948); SL (1939-1971); WM (1939-1971); Eclipse

(1939-1987); Master (1945-1987); EDF (1946-1987); FK (1955-1987); Friction King (1960-87).

The disc brake linings averaged approximately 50% chrysotile asbestos by weight and were

distributed under the trade name “Bendix” from 1963 until the present. The brake blocks were on

average 35% asbestos by weight and were sold under the Bendix trade name from 1948 until

1988. Clutch facings were sold only to the Chicago plant of Borg & Beck between 1975 and

1978 and contained 44% chrysotile asbestos by weight.

Bendix sold asbestos friction products to General Motors, Ford and Chrysler under the trade

name “Bendix.” It has also distributed asbestos friction products to every state of the United

States of America.

BORG WARNER CORPORATION was created in 1928 when four companies, Borg & Beck

Co., Marvel Carburetor Co., Warner Gear Co., and Mechanics Universal Joint Co. merged. A

year later, Borg Warner acquired Long Manufacturing Co. The only asbestos friction product

that Borg Warner manufactured was a disc brake pad manufactured in its Spring-Brummer

facility in Bellwood, Illinois. Although Borg Warner maintains that they manufactured this

product only from 1971 to 1975 for Ford, Mercury, Torino and Montego police cars, Ford

interrogatory responses state that they purchased disc brake pads for their police cars from Borg

Warner from 1969 until 1975. Another controversy surrounds the type of asbestos material in the

disc brake pad. In some interrogatories, Borg Warner has stated that both crocidolite (blue)

asbestos and chrysotile asbestos were used. In other interrogatories, Borg Warner has stated only

chrysotile was used. In all instances, Borg Warner states that the pads contained 7 to 28%

asbestos depending on the particular type of disc brake pad.

In addition to manufacturing disc brake pads, Borg Warner was one of the nation’s oldest and

largest distributor of clutch assemblies. Borg Warner began distributed clutch assemblies

containing asbestos pads in 1928. The pads that were incorporated in their assemblies were

contained asbestos and were purchased from Raybestos-Manhattan, Abex, Gatke, Johns-

Manville, National Friction Products, Russe, Standco, H.K. Porter, Akebono, Amco Works, and


Borg Warner’s asbestos products were sold primarily to Original Equipment Manufacturers like

Chrysler, Ford and General Motors. Some of the products were distributed through national


Other important manufacturers and distributors of asbestos friction products include Firestone

(World Bestos company Division), Auto Friction Corp., Carlisle Corp., Reddaway

Manufacturing Company, Inc. and Scandura, Inc.


The exposures that automobile mechanics endure during the course of repair and/or replacement

of components containing asbestos friction products is succinctly outlined in the following

passages from the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Guidance for Preventing

Asbestos Disease Among Auto Mechanics (June 1986)(citations omitted):

Millions of asbestos fibers can be released during brake and clutch servicing. Grinding and

beveling friction products can cause even higher exposures. . .

Asbestos released into the air lingers around a garage long after a brake job is done and can be

breathed in by everyone inside the garage, including customers. While lowering exposure lowers

risk, there is no known level of exposure to asbestos below which health effects do not occur . . .

Asbestos can be carried on work clothing, contaminating the family car and home. This can

cause asbestos disease among family members. . .

Using a compressed air hose to clean drum brakes can release up to 16 million asbestos fibers in

the cubic meter of air around a mechanic’s face. Even hitting a brake drum with a hammer can

release over a million asbestos fibers. Much less dust from asbestos-lined disc brake pads will

settled on disc brakes, but some dust can get on a mechanic’s hands and into the garage air during

maintenance. The asbestos fibers released from brake and clutch work can be scattered

throughout a garage, where they can present a hazard for months or years. . .

When grinding is done to renew used brake block linings, concentrations of up to seven million

asbestos fibers per cubic meter can be released. Beveling new linings can release concentrations

of up to 72 million fibers and light grinding of new linings of up 4.8 million fibers . . .

Significant exposure can also occur during clutch repair. Since a mechanic’s head is typically

under the clutch assembly during clutch repair, asbestos often falls on a mechanic’s face and

clothing. . .

General Motor’s expert, Ralph A. Froehlich, agrees that repairing and replacing asbestos brakes,

regardless of the type or manufacturer of the brake, creates a significant hazard to mechanics

throughout the entire repair and replacement processes. Deposition Testimony of General Motors

Expert Ralph A. Froehlich, in Terry v. General Motors, Court of Common Pleas, Montgomery

County, Ohio, Cause No. 98-893, at 47-48, 54-55 (May 8, 2000); Affidavit of General Motors

Expert Ralph A. Froehlich, in Terry v. General Motors, Court of Common Pleas, Montgomery

County, Ohio, Cause No. 98-893, at 3 (January 24, 2000). A Certified Industrial Hygienist, Mr.

Froehlich agrees that, in the 1960s, brake mechanics were exposed to excessive levels of

asbestos during ordinary garage brake maintenance work. Froehlich Deposition, supra, at 51.

Mr. Froehlich then characterized asbestos exposure from brake work as “both significant and

injurious.” Froehlich Affid., supra, at 4. He also agreed that asbestos brake work represented a

significant hazard to brake mechanics throughout the 1960′s and 1970′s. Froehlich Deposition,

supra, at 54.

From the review of depositions of garage mechanics, it is clear that such workers are exposed to

asbestos dust throughout the process of repair and replacing brakes and clutches, including when,

in preparation for changing the products, the brake and clutch housings are cleaned and blown

out with compressed air; when the new friction products are removed from their boxes; when the

surfaces of these new friction products are disturbed by sanding, filing, beveling, drilling, or

grinding; and when the asbestos debris from these processes is swept up or blown off during the

clean up process.

Blow Out

Blow out is age-old process whereby mechanics use compressed air to blow out the wheel hub to

clean off the brake assembly prior to removing the brakes for repair or replacement. During the

course of vehicle operation, these linings wear down. Some of the “wear debris” becomes

airborne and enters the ambient environment, the rests gets deposited on the surfaces of the brake

shoe or calipers and around the wheel cylinders or collects on the lining surfaces, in the rivet

holes and on the brake drum. While the drum and disc brake linings contain anywhere from 25 to

75% asbestos when installed, the wear debris does not contain the same percentage of asbestos.

Thermal studies have shown that when chrysotile asbestos is heated to 650 degrees centigrade, it

loses water (dehydroxlation) and recrystallizes as a different mineral called “fosterite.” See Rohl,

et al., Asbestos Exposure during Brake Lining Maintenance and Repair, Env’l Research, 12:110-

128 (1976). At times during the braking operation, certain spots on the brake lining can attain a

temperature ranging from 800 to 1000 degrees. Accordingly, significant portion of the wear

debris is fosterite, this transformed chrysotile. Not all of the chrysotile, however, converts to


First, it is important to note that friction product manufacturers were aware of this conversion

and added numerous reconditioning agents as modifiers in the manufacturing process to retard

fosterite formation because fosterite was a harder material than chrysotile and its hardness tended

to score and gouge brake drums and discs, degrading them prematurely. Rohl, et al., Asbestos

Exposure during Brake Lining Maintenance and Repair, Env’l Research, 12 at p. 112.

Second, other factors besides thermal wear contribute to the disintegration of the brake linings,

namely abrasive wear and macroshear. These forces can cause fibers to be freed from the brake

lining at temperatures lower than those required for fosterite transformation, liberating partially

altered or even unaltered chrysotile fibers.

One of the first papers to attempt to quantify the level of asbestos remaining in wear debris was

Jeremiah Lynch’s Brake Lining Decomposition Products, Journal of the Air Pollution Control

association, 18(12): 824-826 (1968). Lynch tested 15 samples of debris, 10 from automobile

drum brakes, 1 from an automobile clutch, 1 automobile disc brake, 2 bus drum brakes and 1

truck drum brake. Eleven out of the fifteen had some remaining unconverted chrysotile fibers. Of

these, the percentages by weight of material were as follows: 8 were below 1%, 1 was below 5%,

1 at approximately 10% and 1 at approximately 15%.

Defendants rely heavily on Jacko, DuCharme, and Somers, Brake and Clutch Emissions

Generated During Vehicle Operation, Automobile Engineering Meeting (1973) and its

conclusion that 99.7% of the brake wear debris is composed of asbestos material that was

chemically converted to forsterite and that only .23% was unconverted asbestos material. To put

these figures in the proper perspective, however, Dr. Roy Gealer, the head of Ford’s Chemical

Engineering Department analyzed dust collected from a brake lining wear test that simulated

“stop-and-go” conditions from normal driving. He discovered 12 asbestos fibers on a filter paper

area of 40,000 square microns that corresponds to 30 million asbestos fibers per gram of wear

debris material. See Ford, Intra Company Memorandum, Subject: Asbestos Emissions from

Brake Lining Wear, November 16, 1970.

Other researchers have found significant levels of asbestos dust in the air after the use of

compressed air. For example, Dr. Rohl examined 10 samples of brake drum dust in New York

City and 29 samples sent by colleagues from other countries. Unaltered chrysotile was found in

all of the New York samples with a mean weight of 4.5% and a range of 2 to 15.1%. When he

used a more power transmission electron microscopic, Rohl found both free chrysotile fiber

bundles and fibrils in all 39 samples. A.N. Rohl, A.M. Langer, R. Klimentids, M.S. Wolff, I.J.

Selikoff, I.J., Asbestos Content of Dust Encountered in Brake Maintenance and Repair, 70 Proc.

Roy. Soc. Med. 32-36 (1977)

In determining how much of this asbestos was in the air during blowout, Hickish and Knight,

Industrial Hygiene Specialists for Ford in Great Britain, reported a time weighted average of 1.25

fiber/cc for blowing out car brakes and of 1.75 fiber/cc for blowing out truck brakes. Hickish &

Knight, Exposure to Asbestos during Brake Maintenance, Ann. Occup. Hyg. , 13:17-19 (1970).

See also G.L. Lee, Removing Dust From Brake Assemblies During Vehicle Servicing-Alternative

Cleaning Methods, Ann. Occup. Hyg., 13:33-36. (1970) (Blow out of brake drums yielded peak

concentration of 3-5 fibers/cc); K.L. Knight, D.E. Hickish, Investigations Into Alternative Forms

of Control For Dust Generated During the Cleaning of Brake Assemblies and Drums, Ann.

Occup. Hyg.13: 37-39 (1970)(Blow-off personal sample yielded 5.35 f/cm3 and peek sample 87

f/cc); Hatch, Possible Alternatives to Asbestos as a Friction Material, Ann. Occup. Hyg. 13:25-

29 (1970)(Brake cleaning by compressed air jet showed 10 minute average for fiber counts from

2 to 5 microns (5 f/cc), 10 minute average for fibers above 5 microns (.8 f/cc), peak

concentration 43 f/cc).

Dr. Rohl also reported on the average concentrations from blowing the dust out of brake drums

with compressed air jets, finding a mean fiber concentration of 16 fiber/cc and measurable

concentrations of asbestos fiber fifteen minutes after the brake blow out up to 75 feet away. Rohl,

et al., Asbestos Exposure During Brake Lining Maintenance and Repair, Env’l Research, 12:110-

128 (1976).

Kauppinen and Korhonen found concentrations ranging from less than 1 to 8.2 fibers/cc during

brake dust blow out studies in cars, while two independent laboratories they consulted found

concentrations of 11.0 to 16.5 fiber/cc and 1.6 to 12.2 fibers/cc respectively. Kauppinen & K.

Korhonen, Exposure to Asbestos During Brake Maintenance, Brake Maintenance of Automotive

Vehicles by Different Methods, 48 Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. 499-504 (1987).

When the International Program on Chemical Safety reviewed this subject in 1998, it concluded

that “[a] considerable number of reports have included airborne asbestos concentrations during

maintenance and replacement of vehicle brakes & resulting in high total dust exposures.” IPCS,

Environmental Health Criteria 203, Chrysotile Asbestos (Geneva, 1998). The IPCS specifically

cited the use of compressed air to blow off brake dust as one of the activities that caused brake

mechanics asbestos exposure. Id. An overview of the air concentrations collected during the use

of compressed air to blow-out brakes referenced in the IPCS Report show measurements that

significantly exceeded the current permissible exposure level.

In addition to the published literature, corporate documents shed additional light on the issue of

asbestos exposures during “blow out”. In an unpublished paper in 1968, Dr. Hickish, who was

with Ford’s Medical Services Division in Great Britain, examined asbestos brake “blow out”

exposures. He reported that the “generation of a dust cloud by blowing off dust from commercial

vehicle brakes results in increased background contamination of 3 to 4 times the background

level at any point within a radius of 20-25ft.” D.E. Hickish, Report 52/68, Exposure to Asbestos

Dust During Brake Maintenance Operations on Commercial Vehicles, Fleet Repair Garage,

Dagenham (October 1968). He further noted that, not only was the asbestos exposure of the

mechanic engaged in “the blowing off task” nearly 4 times the Threshold Limit Value, but also

the asbestos measured in the breathing zone of a different mechanic in an adjacent work bay,

during the blow off period, exceeded the Threshold Limit Value. Id. at 3.

In December 1975, GM conducted asbestos monitoring during brake repair at a Buick dealership

in New York City. Although the mechanics took care not to use compressed air to clean brake

assemblies, levels as high as 4.5 f/cc were measured, or 45 times the current limit. Letter from

W.H. Krebs, GM Industrial Hygiene Department, to W. McCrocklin, Manager, Circle K Buick

(September 28, 1976).

In the early 1970′s, the Ford Industrial Hygiene Section began monitoring asbestos dust levels

internally, at test tracks and other locations, during brake repair operations. In a May 29, 1973

letter from Ford Industrial Hygienist Harry Lick to Ford’s J.A. Keller, Mr. Lick discusses air

samples taken during blow off of truck brake drums and assemblies, and states the results of the

air sample “indicated an over exposure to the 10 fibers greater than five microns in length per

millimeter of air ceiling concentration limit prescribed by OSHA.” Letter from Harry Lick, Ford

Industrial Hygienist, to J.A. Keller, Ford Personnel Services Supervisor (May 29, 1973).

In August 1973, Mr. Toth, the Supervisor of Ford’s Industrial Hygiene Section, circulated a

memorandum reporting that “[r]ecent industrial hygiene studies have demonstrated overexposure

to asbestos fiber in air during certain vehicle brake rebuilding and inspection operations.

Overexposure occurred when brakes and brake drums were cleaned using compressed air

blowoff.” Paul E. Toth, Supervisor of Ford’s Industrial Hygiene Section, Memorandum Re:

Vehicle Brake Rebuilding (August 3, 1973).

Shortly thereafter, Ford internally banned the use of compressed air to clean brakes and brake

linings during servicing of any automobile, truck, trailer, and any other unit having asbestos

brake linings. See J.B. Williams, Memorandum Re: Vehicle Brake Rebuilding (August 23, 1973).

In that same month, Ford issued Maintenance Bulletin No. 137, warning Ford employees that

“[o]verexposure to asbestos fiber in the air can occur during inspection and repair operations on

brakes, brake drums, clutches, and associated components of these units when compressed air is

used to blow off asbestos laden dust.” Ford Plant Engineering Office Manufacturing Staff,

Maintenance Bulletin, No. 137 (August 1973).

In place of compressed air blow out, Ford ordered its employees to use specially designed

vacuums, which its Rotunda Equipment Division later marketed to Ford dealerships. See J.R.

Knauss, Memorandum Re: Controlling Asbestos Exposure (November 16, 1973); see also Ford

Parts and Service Division, General Field Bulletin No. 1469, Re: Rotunda Shop Safety

Equipment Promotion (July 8, 1976) (“Rotunda has just added a special vacuum cleaner to its

equipment line, which is designed to remove hazardous asbestos dust fibers which result from

certain brake and clutch operations.”); Ford Rotunda 1977 Dealer Catalog.

By late 1975, Ford issued a technical service bulletin that contained a section entitled, “Brake

Asbestos Dust Fiber Removal.” The Bulletin read: “CAUTION: Dust and dirt conditions present

on wheel brake assemblies and rotors and drums, may contain asbestos fibers that can represent a

potential health hazard when made airborne by cleaning with compressed air.” Ford, Technical

Service Bulletin No. 99 (1975). Ford reaffirmed its position on blow out exposure in an April 23,

1975 internal letter, where Ford stated, “for the most part, whenever air hoses were used to clean

dust out of brake drums, we found exposures in excess of limits established in OSHA standards

on asbestos dust.” Letter from Paul E. Toth, Supervisor, Ford Industrial Hygiene Section, to T.

Cole, Ford Chemistry Department, Re: Exposure of Garage Mechanics to Brake Dust (April 23,


Finally, in September of 1981, Ford’s Manufacturing Guideline stated that “[o]verexposure to

asbestos fiber in the air can occur during inspection and repair operations especially when

compressed air is used to blow off dust.”


After the wheel well is cleaned, the mechanic is faced with two choices, repair the existing brake

shoes or replace them. Either operation can result in significant exposure to asbestos dust.

Brakes can fail for a lot of different reasons. Prolonged riding of the brakes or improper break-in

can cause one of the brake linings to become glazed or matted. Friction between the brake shoes

and backing platforms can cause a shoe to hang up when it is released causing uneven wear. In

these instances, the recommended procedure was to use sandpaper or a file to roughen or remove

part of the lining’s surface. See, e.g., Chrysler’s Master Technician’s Service Reference Book,

Brake Service (1964). In addition, for brake squeal, mechanics inserted compressed air, blew out

the drums, support plate and shoes, then crosshatched the lining with a hacksaw. Finally, to

correct shoe knock, mechanics would break up the helix of the lining with vigorous hand


When installing new brakes, sandpaper was also used to eliminate “high-spots” on the brake

lining of drum brakes to ensure smooth braking and to eliminate motor oil or other lubricants

from the surfaces of disk pad, brake pads and clutch facings caused by greasy fingers. The heels

and toes of the brake lining frequently had to be ground to ensure a proper fit. In earlier days,

brake shoe linings were beveled with a grinder, the entire longitudinal surface scoured to attain

the proper angle for installation.

The machining of brake linings, either by sandpaper, file, or grinder, does not involve the

conversion of chrysotile. Instead, the mechanic is manipulating a product that contains on

average 50% asbestos and his actions liberate those fibers from their binder and introduce them

into the air around him. While there have not been studies examining each of the job duties

described above, there have been a substantial number of studies regarding the manipulation of

new brake linings. It is important to note, however, that there are no studies that pre-date the late

1960s. Below is a picture of the brake grinding attachment from Ammco:

In the picture below, the brake lathe is the device on the left and the brake grinder attachment is

on the right:

In 1969, Ford Industrial Hygiene Specialists report that they have specifically analyzed the dust

produced by sanding asbestos brake linings and found 28% of the dust was asbestos fibers. D.E.

Hickish & K.L. Knight, Exposure to Asbestos During Brake Maintenance, 13 Ann. Occup. Hyg.

17-21 (1970). In concluding their presentation, these Ford specialists noted, “[o]ur environmental

studies have not included maintenance procedures which involve the filing and grinding of brake

lining material, and we would envisage that these would give rise to considerably increased air

contamination by chrysotile asbestos, with the attendant need for strict precautions to prevent the

inhalation of fibers.” Id. at 21.

In the early/mid 1970′s, Dr. Arthur Rohl, and his colleagues at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine,

measured asbestos dust levels for various brake repair activities on trucks. Fiber concentrations,

all above the current PEL/TLV, were as follows: grinding linings, 3.8 fibers/ml; beveling new

linings, 37.3 fiber/ml; riveting linings, 1.5 fibers/ml; sweeping floors around the grinding area,

3.6 fibers/ml. Arthur N. Rohl, A.M. Langer, M.S. Wolff, & I. Weisman, Asbestos Exposure

During Brake Lining Maintenance and Repair, 12 Env’l Research 110, 122 (1976). In another

report, light grinding of new linings yielded 4.8 fibers/ml and grinding new linings before

installation yielded 2.7 fibers/ml. William V. Lorimer, A.N. Rohl, A. Miller, W.J. Nicholson, I.J.

Selikoff, Asbestos Exposure or Brake Repair Workers in the United States, 43 Mount Sinai J. of

Med. 207-217 (May-June 1976).

In a 1987 Finnish study, researchers confirmed these results, noting that “grinding of new linings

is an operation that may cause heavy exposure unless the enclosure and the local ventilation are

efficient.” In fact, grinding asbestos brakes for one hour without exhaust ventilation resulted a

time-weighted average of almost 10 f/cc. Kauppinen & Korhonen, Exposure to Asbestos During

Brake Maintenance of Automotive Vehicles by Different Methods, 48 Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J.

499-504 (1987).

The International Programme on Chemical Safety (“IPCS”) study also confirms that brake

mechanics have had significant asbestos exposure from machining brake products. In its report,

IPCS concluded, “[a] considerable number of reports have included airborne asbestos

concentrations during maintenance and replacement of vehicle brakes. In the early period, poor

or no engineering control measures were utilized, resulting in high total dust exposures.” IPSC,

Environmental Health Criteria 203, Chrysotile Asbestos 41 (Geneva, 1998). Specifically cited

within the report were such machining activities as grinding, drilling, boring, as well as packing,

storage and distribution. Id. The report acknowledges that the most likely place for workers to be

exposed is during installation of asbestos friction products. Id. at 138. Peak concentration

measurements for maintenance activities during the 1970s were cited at 16 f/ml. Id. Similarly, in

Japan, between 1970 and 1975, mean concentrations of 10-35 f/ml were measured, and between

1984 and 1986 (presumably with better dust control measures in place) mean concentrations of

0.2 – 5.5 f/ml were measured. Id. at 3.

In addition to the extensive published literature on the subject, corporate records and trade

association documents demonstrate that, without doubt, machining friction materials creates

significant levels of exposure to asbestos.

As early as the 1930′s, GM was apparently aware that the grinding of asbestos friction products

generated significant asbestos exposure. As a result, GM provided exhaust ventilation at the

grinding machines in its asbestos friction product plant and monitored asbestos dust levels in the

operations. See Case, 1939 GM Inland Mfg. Dust Studies Dayton, Ohio (October 31 and

November 1, 1939).

Similarly, only a few years after Chrysler began making asbestos friction products in 1959, as

early as May 27, 1963, Chrysler was measuring airborne asbestos concentrations in its Trenton

plant and finding measurements exceeding the current PEL/TLV. Dust Study Performed At

Chrysler Plant In Trenton, New Jersey (May 27, 1963).

Many of the operations conducted at the Dayton and Trenton plants were admittedly similar to

those that a mechanic would perform if he ground asbestos brake parts before putting them on a


In 1971, Dr. Dement performed asbestos dust surveys at the Worldbestos asbestos brake

manufacturing plant in Indiana. He performed individual tests in the areas for grinding, sanding

and drilling friction products, as well as for inspecting and packing the friction products. Dr.

Dement reported exposures of 20 f/ml during grinding and peaks of 10 f/ml simply discarding

old linings. Department Of Health, Education and Welfare, Minutes Of Occupational Exposure

To Asbestos Dust From Brake Linings Meeting (July 21, 1973).

Similarly, dust studies at Bendix’s Ontario friction product manufacturing plants showed

excessive dust readings. The dust study considered exposure in areas where the employees

drilled, riveted and ground asbestos brake products. For example, in August 1976, with dust

protection measures in place, measurements of 0.09, 0.14, 0.49 and 0.77 f/cc were found. In

November 1979, with dust protection measures in place, measurements of 1.8, 4.3, and 5.9 f/cc

were found. Memorandum of Dust Studies at Bendix, Walkerville, Ontario (August 24, 1976 and

May, June, July 1977); Ontario Ministry of Labour, Field Visit Report, Dust Studies at Bendix,

Windsor, Ontario (January 9, 1979)

In December 1979, GM confirmed that brake work creates exposure in an article in Business

Week. The Growing Need For Asbestos Substitutes, Business Week, December 3, 1979, at 98D.

The article discusses the brake repair worker practice of sanding asbestos brake linings, and

quotes a GM engineer’s response: “[t]his puts all sorts of harmful fibers in the air.” Id.

In August 1983, Ford issued its Industrial Relations Bulletin No. 4 on Asbestos. Ford Employee

Health Service, Industrial Relations Bulletin, No. 4, Industrial Hygiene (August 22, 1983). Ford

noted that asbestos exposures “can cause asbestosis, cancer of the lungs and digestive tract, and

mesothelioma”. Under a section entitled “Employee Exposure,” Ford’s Employee Health

Services Department wrote: “& [E]mployee exposure can generally occur during material

handling and maintenance of asbestos-containing friction materials. Exposure can occur during

grinding, sawing, sanding, drilling or otherwise disturbing or finishing asbestos-containing


The major brake manufacturers’ trade association, The Friction Materials Standards Institute

(“FMSI”) shared the generally accepted understanding that brake workers in the field were

exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos from drilling, cutting, beveling and grinding linings. The

FMSI was a trade association of most of the leading friction materials manufacturers including

GM, Chrysler, Bendix, Abex, JM, Raybestos and others.

The issue of asbestos exposure from friction products was a regular and ongoing concern for the

FMSI. For example, toward the end of 1972, FMSI told its membership that a problem existed

when brake linings and clutch facings were cut, grooved, drilled or ground after shipment,

because these operations produced high concentrations of airborne asbestos fibers. E.W.

Drislane, Executive Director, FMSI, Memorandum Re: Interpretative of OSHA Labeling

Requirements (November 6, 1972)

Three weeks later, in a letter to an official at Bendix Corporation, Drislane warned that “[w]hen

customers of yours drill linings, chamfer linings, cut linings, or grind linings, they may very well

raise the asbestos concentrations in the atmosphere to above the OSHA standard.” Letter from

E.W. Drislane, Executive Director of FMSI, to J.H. Kelly, Bendix Corporation (November 28,

1972). He added that “[s]ome members have indicated that the drilling and grinding operations

are problem areas in brake lining factories with existing exhaust systems. Therefore, if a

customer of yours started drilling or grinding without having proper dust collectors, he would

probably be in violation of the OSHA standard. It therefore becomes your responsibility, as a

supplier of the brake lining, to warn the customer of this possibility.”

Then on February 16, 1973, the FMSI’s Asbestos Study Committee noted that, “[i]n many

drilling and grinding operations without dust collectors, Committee members indicated that the

10 fibers/cc ceiling concentration has been exceeded.” Minutes of the FMSI’s Asbestos Study

Committee (February 16, 1973). Most Committee members believed that, where no adequate

dust collection machinery was employed, ” the 5 fibers/cc (Time Weighted Average) is exceeded

in many areas such as inspection, drilling, and grinding”. The Committee acknowledged that

such exposure might be particularly likely in garages where drilling and grinding is often

necessary and adequate dust collection equipment is absent. On this point, the Committee noted:

“[w]hile the members of the OEM accounts are dealing with manufacturers who should

understand the OSHA regulations, the biggest problem may be with the small shops that are

exempt from the requirements of the OSHA regulations.” The Committee also acknowledged

that exposures may occur just from opening boxes containing new friction products. On this

point, the Committee stated, “with undusted linings from a manufacturer [,] it is likely that

customer inspection, or possibly opening of cartons, could show airborne fiber concentrations in

excess of the 5 fiber/cc (TWA).” (emphasis added).

In June 1973, the Asbestos Study Committee once again expressed concern regarding asbestos

exposure from friction products, when Mr. Weaver, Chairman of the Committee and Vice

President of Raybestos-Manhattan, suggested that the possibility of additional cutting, drilling, or

grinding is always present and that he felt the OSHA warning label should be used for these

operations as well. Minutes of the FMSI’s Asbestos Study Committee (June 1973). On its face, the

OSHA requirement only applied to “friable” products, those that give off dust when handled. Mr.

Weaver’s point was that all of the membership knew that these subsequent machining operations

were inevitable and when the mechanics engaged in those activities, asbestos dust can be

generated at levels more than the 5 fiber/cc limit in the OSHA standards.

Mr. Weaver emphasized this common sense approach during his speech to the Annual Meeting

of the FMSI when he told those assembled that the claim by some of the other asbestos product

manufacturers that the OSHA regulations did not apply to them because the asbestos in their

products was “locked in” and could not become airborne during use was not “at all applicable to

friction materials.” I.H. Weaver, Address at the Annual Membership Meeting of the FMSI,

Asbestos and the Friction Material Industry (June 27, 1973). He further stated that operations

and alterations of asbestos friction materials in the field “could result in excessive exposures of

workers or bystanders to airborne asbestos fiber.”



The first articles dealing with the appearance of asbestos disease among workers who were

exposed to dust from friction products in the manufacturing setting began appearing in the mid-

1930s. In England, in 1935, a Memorandum on the Industrial Diseases of Silicosis and

Asbestosis by His Majesty’s Stationery Office contains the following paragraph:

Industries and processes in which asbestosis occurs. – Processes involving exposures to asbestos

dust which are known to give rise to asbestosis or in which the conditions are such as to be liable

to produce the disease, are the breaking, crushing, disintegrating, opening and grinding of

asbestos and the mixing or sieving of asbestos or any admixture of asbestos, the manufacture of

asbestos textiles, the making of insulating slabs or sections and the making or repairing of

insulating mattresses composed wholly or partly of asbestos, and the sawing, grinding and

turning in the dry state of articles composed wholly or partly of asbestos such as motor car

brake and clutch linings, jointings, electric insulating materials and some types of electrodes.

(emphasis added).

In the same year, the Department of Labor and Industry of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

reported its results of a survey of several plants in the state that made asbestos cloth, brake

linings, insulating tape and rope and wick. The researchers found that 25% of the workers

employed in these fabricating plants had both clinical and chest x-ray evidence of asbestosis.

The recognition that the asbestos incorporated into friction products was capable of producing

disease was supported by other investigations of the friction product manufacturing facilities. In

1939, Drs. George and Leonard published the results of their study of one of the large industrial

plants in Massachusetts where brake linings were manufactured. Out of ninety workers, the

researchers made a positive diagnosis of asbestosis in 12 and a diagnosis of questionable

asbestosis in three others. George et al., An X-ray Study of the Lungs of Workmen in Asbestos

Industry Covering a Period of Ten Years, Radiology, 33:196-202 (1939). Another study of the

same plant yielded astounding results, 82% of the 180 workers examined had symptoms and

chest x-ray evidence of pulmonary asbestosis, 78 patients with Stage I, early asbestosis, 54

patients with Stage II, moderate asbestosis, and 16 patients with Stage III, advanced asbestosis.

Stone, Studies in Asbestosis, Disease of the Chest, 6:170-171 (1940).

This level of disease was also noted in German friction product facilities. In Germany, asbestosis

was recognized as an occupational disease in 1937. As part of this recognition, workers in all

asbestos manufacturing plants were examined annually. Among the plants subject to this

requirement, were facilities where asbestos brake bands were manufactured. These brake bands

were composed of asbestos remnants that were impregnated by an artificial resin. The resulting

band was then ground to obtain the correct thickness and drilled to create rivet holes to attach the

brake lining to the metal brake shoe. In examining the workers who did the grinding and drilling,

researchers found that after two years of working with these brake bands, a few isolated cases of

slight asbestosis occurred. After five years, however, definite changes of asbestosis on clinical

and x-ray examinations were found in all workers. Brackman, Asbestosis in Grinders and

Drillers of Brake Bands, Arbeitzschutz (1940) abstract printed in Journal of Industrial Hygiene

and Toxicology, 23(4):76-77(1941)

The risk of asbestosis in the manufacturing of friction products was not lost on the brake lining

manufacturers. In 1944, while discussing asbestosis, L.E. Hamlin, the Medical Director of

American Brake Shoe Company wrote that:

The greatest occupational hazard exists in mining, handling and crushing crude asbestos, making

insulation and the carding and weaving of asbestos. In other industries such as the compounding

of materials for automobile brake linings, the hazard is recognized but the disease is uncommon.

He went on to note that:

In one of our plants where considerable asbestos is used in the manufacture of automobile brake

linings, a recent survey of 189 employees exposed to variable amounts of dust, revealed no

actual cases of fibrosis. A few men’s films showed haziness which suggested evidence of

disease, but they were not sufficiently typical to warrant a diagnosis of asbestosis. However, it

should be stated that the hazard in this particular plant is well controlled by adequate exhaust


The hazardous nature of the asbestos used in brake products was also not lost on V.J. Castrop,

the Assistant Head of the Industrial Hygiene Department of General Motors Corporation. He is a

paper entitled Fume and Dust Exposure to presented to the Automotive and Machine Shop

Section of the National Safety Council and subsequently published in the National Safety News

in February of 1948, he conceded that:

[a]sbestos used in the formulation of brake lining is a potentially harmful compound. This

material is the offending agent in the production of the lung aliment known as asbestosis. The

harmful effect is comparable to that of silica and a permissible limit of 5,000,000 particle of

asbestos dust per cubic foot of air is generally recognized. Dust exposure to asbestos and other

ingredients of the brake lining exist when the dry materials are handled and emptied into the

mixers and in the subsequent operations of slitting, grinding, or surfacing.

The hazards of friction product manufacture were also noted in Australia where chest x-rays of

300 asbestos workers were examined and 47 demonstrated positive evidence of asbestosis. The

occupations of the group diagnosed with asbestosis involved, among others, the “sawing, cutting

and finishing any product containing asbestos – for example brake linings.” Thomas,

Pneumonokoniosis in Victorian Industry, Medical Journal of Australia, January 19, 1957, pp. 75-


In addition, a National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health review of 20 long-term

employees of a friction products plant in New Jersey identified 7 workers with chest x-ray

abnormalities consistent with the effects of asbestos exposure. Two of the 7 had asbestosis and 5

exhibited asbestos-related pleural abnormalities. NOISH Investigation, Friction Division

Products, Trenton, New Jersey, September 1986.

The incidence of asbestosis was not limited to only those workers engaged in the manufacturing

of asbestos brake linings. As early as 1943, workers had filed claims alleging they contracted

asbestosis as a result of working with asbestos brake linings in garages. See e.g., Converse v.

State, 181 Misc. 113, 41 N.Y. 245 (Court of Claims N.Y. 1943). In fact, all over the world,

researchers have reported the incidence of asbestosis in automobile mechanics engaged in the

repair and replacement of brake linings.

For instance, in England, McVittie published an analysis of cases of asbestosis approved by the

Pneumoconiosis Medical Panel of the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance that

moderates England’s Workers Compensation Program. From 1955 through 1963, four cases of

asbestosis were approved in brake lining workers, workers engaged in the repairs to brake and

clutch parts. McVittie, Asbestosis in Great Britain, Ann NY Acad Sci 132:128-138 (1965). An

additional ten cases of asbestosis in brake repair workers were approved from 1963 through

1969. Smither, Surveillance of High-Risk Groups – A survey of asbestos workers: the present

position in the United Kingdom, Ann NY Acad Sci 330:525-532 (1979).

In Germany, two cases of asbestosis were found among 39 vehicular maintenance workers who

had performed brake lining service for about = to 2 hours a day for eight years. Boillat et al., Risk

of Asbestosis in Workers Employed in Replacing Automobile Brake Linings, Schweiz Med

Wschr 103(39):1354-1359 (1973) cited in Lorimer et al., Asbestos Exposure of Brake Repair

Workers in the United States, Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine, 43(3):207-218, May-June 1976

at page 208.

In the United States, Lorimer and his colleagues at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New

York published the results of their examination of 104 members of a union of vehicular

maintenance workers. Many of these workers showed signs of asbestosis, 29% had a decreased

vital capacity on pulmonary function testing and 27% had chest x-ray abnormalities. The authors

noted, “the prevalence both of chest x-ray changes and restrictive function results was

significantly higher after 20 years exposure than before, a result expected after occupational

exposure to asbestos.” Lorimer, supra, at p. 217. The authors then concluded that their findings

“suggest that asbestos disease will be present among such workers and that appropriate control

measures should be urgently instituted.” Id.

In 1976, Dr. Selikoff, one of the premier asbestos researchers at Mt. Sinai, visited with

representatives of the Big Three Automobile Manufacturers – Chrysler, Ford and Genera Motors,

and discussed the high levels of asbestos found in brake linings and the high incidence of

disease, twenty-four percent, found in a group of garage workers he had examined. See Letter of

Armstrong to Riopelle regarding Selikoff’s visit to the Big Three, June 11, 1976.

In 1983, William Nicholson, a research scientist at Mt. Sinai, examined three groups of workers,

garage mechanics who repaired brakes, garage mechanics who did no brake repair work and a

blue-collar control group. He found:

A greater prevalence of x-ray abnormalities is found among garage mechanics who repaired

brakes than among blue collar controls or garage workers who do not engage in brake or auto

body work. . . . a significant excess is seen in workers who had occasion to grind and machine

brake linings prior to installation on larger vehicles. The prevalence of x-ray abnormalities is in

accord with estimates of asbestos exposure in the different circumstances.

Investigation of Health Hazards in Brake Lining Repair and Maintenance Workers

Occupationally Exposed to Asbestos, Environmental Sciences Laboratory, Mount Sinai School

of Medicine of the City University of New York, pp. 93-95 (NIOSH 1983).

In Finland, six verified cases of asbestosis have been reported to the Finnish Register of

Occupational Diseases during the period of 1964 to 1984. See Kauppinen et al., Exposure to

Asbestos During Brake Maintenance of Automotive Vehicles by Different Methods, Am Ind Hyg

Assoc J, 48(5):499-504(1987). The disease occurred in four car mechanics, one turner, and one

garage supervisor.

Finally, in Sweden, 41 car mechanics were diagnosed with asbestos-related pleural plaques.

Marcus et al., Asbestos-associated lung effects in car mechanics, Scand J Work Environ Health,

13(3):252-4 (1987).


It has been estimated that 20,000 deaths from asbestos-related cancer will occur during the next

40 years among automotive maintenance workers in the United States. See Huncharek, Brake

Mechanics, Asbestos, and Disease Risk, Amer J Forensic Med and Path, 11(3):236-240 (1990).

Asbestos friction product manufacturers have known about the capability of asbestos fibers to

cause cancer since the early 1940s. In 1936, a group of asbestos friction product manufacturers

agreed to sponsor a series of animal experiments by Dr. Leroy Gardner of the Saranac

Laboratories in New York. Although Dr. Gardner’s study revealed that a 81.8% of mice that had

been inhaling asbestos dust from 15 to 24 months developed lung tumors, the friction product

manufacturers reviewed his findings and agreed to delete any reference to cancer and tumors.

By the early 1960s, asbestos had been established as a cause for lung cancer and brake lining and

clutch facing was known to be an operation that brought users and consumers in contact with

asbestos. See Hueper, Carcinogens in the Human Environment, Archives of Pathology,

71(3):237-267 (1961). Dr. Enterline studied lung cancer rates among various occupational

groups in the United States and found that automobile mechanics and repairmen had

significantly elevated mortality rates. In fact, by 1970, Dr. Merle Gibson, Medical Director of the

Inland Division of General Motors, believed that asbestos was the main cause of lung cancer and

objected to any additional input of asbestos into the air, no matter how slight. See Memo to File:

Visit to Inland Division of General Motors, August 31, 1970.

Subsequently, in 1976, researchers found a significantly elevated Standard Mortality Ratio

(SMR) for lung cancer of 146 for automobile repair. See Menck et al., Occupational Differences

in Rates of Lung Cancer, Journal of Occupational Medicine, 18(12) 797-801 (1976). In 1984,

McDonald and associates found a significant increase in the rate of death from respiratory cancer

in workers at a friction products manufacturing facility; 49 observed, 35.7 expected for an SMR

of 137. McDonald et al., Dust Exposure and Mortality in an American Chrysotile Asbestos

Friction Products Plant, Brit J Indus Med, 41:151-157 (1984). Finally in 1988, an extensive

review of car mechanics in Sweden revealed a significant increase in lung cancer deaths when

compared to the general population; 39 observed, 23 expected for an SMR 170. Jarvholm &

Brisman, Asbestos associated tumours in car mechanics, brit. j. indust. med., 45:645-646 (1988).

A non-statistical biological reason supporting the causal relationship between asbestos exposure

in automobile repair and the development of lung cancer is the documentation of physical

evidence of the causative agent in the lung tissues of exposed mechanics. For example, Dr.

Andrew Churg and Barry Wiggs reported on the size and number of asbestos fibers found in 3

brake workers who had developed lung cancer, 2 brake mechanics and 1 brake lining factory

worker. Churg et al., Fiber Size and Number in Workers Exposed to Processed Chrysotile

Asbestos, Chrysotile Miners, and the General Population, Am J Ind Med, 9:143-152 (1986). In

comparison to the general population, the authors found that the mean concentration of asbestos

in brake workers exceeded the controls. In fact, the authors noted that two of the brake workers

had mean fiber lengths and aspect ratios roughly equal to those found in textile workers. This is

important because asbestos textile workers have been found to experience statistically significant

excess mortality from lung cancer. See Dement et al., Follow-up study of chrysotile asbestos

textile workers: cohort mortality and case-control analyses, Am J Ind Med, 26(4):431-447

(1994)(SMR of 230 for lung cancer in South Carolina textile plant workers).

Another recent report identified a case of asbestosis and small cell lung cancer caused by

asbestos in a clutch refabricator. Levin et al., Asbestosis and small cell lung cancer in a clutch

refrabricator, Occup Environ Med, 56(9):602-605 (1999). In analyzing lung tissue samples, the

authors found asbestos fibers in numbers greatly exceeding reported environmental

concentrations. The authors concluded that clutch prefabrication may lead to exposure to

asbestos of sufficient magnitude to cause asbestosis and lung cancer.


Mesothelioma is a particularly insidious cancer of the lining of the lung, heart and peritoneal

cavity that is inevitably fatal and has been conclusively linked to occupational exposure to

asbestos. The association between the development of mesothelioma and the inhalation of

asbestos fibers is so strong that mesothelioma is known as a “signature disease,” one for which a

single causative agent, asbestos, has been identified, and without exposure to which the disease

does not typically occur. See M. Green, D. M. Freedman & L. Gordis, Reference Guide On

Epidemiology, Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence at 381 fn. 128 (2nd ed. Federal Judicial

Center 2000). Indeed, it is only with signature diseases like mesothelioma that it is ever certain

that an ill individual that has been exposed to a toxic agent fell ill because of the exposure. D.

Faigman, D. Kaye, M. Saks & J. Sanders, 2 Modern Scientific Evidence ‘ 28-2.3 at 341 ) (“In

spite of the asbestos litigation’s enormous size, cases involving the admissibility of scientific

evidence have been relatively rare. In part, this is due to the fact that some asbestos related

injuries, e.g. mesothelioma, are ‘signature diseases.’ That is, they are uniquely related to asbestos

exposure and are rarely observed in individuals not exposed.”). Accordingly, the presence of

mesothelioma in an individual presumes that the cause was exposure to asbestos. See Hall v.

Baxter HealthCare Corp., 947 F.Supp. 1387, 1402, fn. 33 (D. Oregon 1996)(“A signature disease

is one so associated with a particular cause that the presence of the disease presumes that cause.

For example, malignant mesothelioma is a signature disease for asbestos causation.”); Blancha v.

Keene Corp., 1991 WL 224573 at 3 (E.D. Pa. 1991) (“The only known cause of mesothelioma is

exposure to, and inhalation of, asbestos dust and fibers.”).

Despite this strong connection, mesothelioma remains a relatively rare disease among those

exposed to asbestos, afflicting one in one hundred thousand workers. In the population of people

who have had no significant exposure to asbestos, however, the occurrence of mesothelioma is

exceedingly rare, occurring in one in a million persons and appearing in only one in ten thousand

autopsies. With the exception of the minute quantities of asbestos present in the ambient air in

most communities, medical science has been unable to establish a minimum threshold of

exposure to asbestos below which cases of mesothelioma will not occur.

While the subject of some controversy, it is generally accepted that all of the different asbestos

fiber types are capable of causing mesothelioma, including chrysotile, the type of asbestos used

in friction products. Manufacturers of friction products as well as their trade organizations have

conceded that chrysotile asbestos is capable of causing mesothelioma. For example, in a

memorandum that he wrote at the request of The Bendix Corporation reviewing the known

health hazards of asbestos, Jacob Tawiah reported all forms of asbestos cause asbestosis, lung

cancer and mesothelioma. See Tawiah, Health-Hazards of Asbestos – A Review of the Medical

Literature, The Bendix Corporation (Honeywell)(December 11, 1975).

In addition, Ike Weaver, the President of Raybestos-Manhattan, one of the world’s largest

producer of asbestos friction products, and the Chairman of the Friction Materials Standards

Institute Asbestos Study Committee, reporting on a meeting held by the International Agency for

Research on Cancer that was held in Lyon, France that involved four days of intensive sessions

on asbestos held by three different panels, each made up of ten to twenty-five of the foremost

medical and scientific experts operating in the various fields of asbestos-health research,

revealed that the most important conclusion was “the incrimination of all major types of asbestos

as causal agents for carcinoma, particularly mesothelioma.” Asbestos and the Friction Material

Industry, Minutes of the FMSI (June 27, 1973)(emphasis in original); see also Minutes of

Asbestos Study Committee, FMSI (March 10, 1975)(reporting on British paper that animals

exposed to all samples of asbestos developed mesothelioma and Mr. Weaver’s comment that

“this was bad news for those hoping that chrysotile would be proven not to be associated with


The conclusions expressed by Mr. Tawiah of The Bendix Corporation and Mr. Weaver of

Raybestos-Manhattan has been echoed by every public health organization and governmental

agency that has investigated this issue. The comments from of the New York State Asbestos

Advisory Board are particularly instructive:

[t]he claim that various types of asbestos differ in their hazard is particularly insidious. It is put

forth by the manufacturers of Canadian asbestos (chrysotile asbestos), the type of asbestos most

widely used in New York and throughout the United States. The central claim here is that the

Canadian product, termed “chrysotile asbestos” is relatively harmless. However, that claim is not

based on fact, and it is not supported by the results of epidemiological and toxicological studies

conducted in the United States and overseas. These studies show that all types of asbestos,

including Canadian asbestos, are fully capable of producing the full spectrum of asbestosrelated

diseases including asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the

pharynx and cancer of the gastrointestinal tract.

Bold, Bianci, DeVito, Landrigan, Pettengil, Second Annual Report, State of New York, Asbestos

Advisory Board, February 1990 (emphasis added).

In 1986, the Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA) “reviewed numerous

epidemiological studies concerning the toxicity and carcinogenicity of different asbestos fiber

types.” OSHA, Occupational Exposure to Asbestos, Tremolite, Anthophylite, and Actinolite;

Final Rules, (1986). After reviewing 55,000 pages of medical and scientific articles and

testimony, OSHA concluded, “all fiber types, alone or in combination, have been observed in

studies to induce lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis in exposed workers.” Id.

In 1994, OSHA reiterated that the “evidence submitted in support of the claim that chrysotile

asbestos is less toxic than other asbestos fiber types is related primarily to mesothelioma. This

evidence is unpersuasive, and it provides an insufficient basis upon which to regulate that fiber

type less stringently.” Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 29

CFR Parts 1910, et al, Occupational Exposure to Asbestos; Final Rule, (August 10,

1994)(emphasis added). OSHA concluded, “although there is some evidence linking chrysotile to

a lower mesothelioma rate than some amphibole fiber types, OSHA believes that there is

insufficient evidence to show that chrysotile does not present a significant mesothelioma risk to

exposed employees.” Id.

The International Agency for the Research on Cancer, the Environmental Protection Agency, the

United States Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Institute for

Occupational Safety and Health all reached similar conclusions after their own independent

reviews of the literature and scientific evidence. See IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of the

Carcinogenicity of Chemical to Humans (1979)(“pleural and peritoneal mesotheliomas have

been observed after occupational exposure to crocidolite, amosite and chrysotile asbestos”);

Environmental Protection Agency, Asbestos: Manufacture, Importation, Processing and

Distribution in Commerce Prohibitions; Final Rule, (July 12, 1989)(“available information

indicates that the combined epidemiological and animal evidence fail to establish conclusively

differences in mesothelioma hazard for the various types of asbestos fibers”); Asbestos

Bibliography, U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services (September 1997)(“both

epidemiologic evidence and experimental confirmation indicate that chrysotile, amosite, and

crocidolite asbestos are causative agents for mesothelioma”); Atlas of Respiratory Disease

Mortality, United States: 1982-1993, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National

Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1998.

Moreover, in 1998, the International Progamme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), under the joint

sponsorship of the United Nations Environment Program, the International Labor Organization

and the World Health Organization, published a monograph devoted exclusively to chrysotile

asbestos. After reviewing over 400 medical articles, the IPCS found that “commercial grades of

chrysotile have been associated with an increased risk of pneumoconiosis, lung cancer and

mesothelioma in numerous epidemiological studies of exposed workers,” and concluded that

“exposure to chrysotile asbestos poses increased risks for asbestosis, lung cancer and

mesothelioma in a dose-dependent manner.” IPCS Environmental Health Criteria 203 -

Chrysotile Asbestos, World Health Organization, pp. 7, 168 (1998).

Many recent medical and scientific articles support the findings of these governmental agencies

and health organizations. See e.g., Yano, Wang, Wang, Wang and Lan, Cancer Mortality among

Workers Exposed to Amphibole-free Chrysotile Asbestos, Am J Epid, 154(6): 538-543 (Sept.

2001)(a finding of 2 mesothelioma death cases among 132 deaths of employees of a factory

using chrysotile asbestos suggested “a strong potential for chrysotile asbestos alone to cause lung

cancer and mesothelioma.”); Suzuki & Yuen, Asbestos Tissue Burden Study on Human

Malignant Mesothelioma, Industrial Health, 39:150-160 (2001)(in 25% of the mesothelioma

cases studied, only chrysotile asbestos was found prompting authors to conclude that chrysotile

could induce mesothelioma); Nicholson, The Carcinogenicity of Chrysotile Asbestos – A Review,

Industrial Health, 39:57-64 (2001)(“there is strong support for the proposition that chrysotile is a

potent causative factor in producing mesothelioma and that the risk associated with exposure to

chrysotile in producing mesothelioma is similar to that of amosite on a per fiber exposure

basis”); Landrigan, Nicholson, Suzuki and Ladou, The Hazards of Chrysotile Asbestos: A

Critical Review, Industrial Health, 37:271-280 (1999)(after reviewing 40 different studies of

workers exposed to asbestos, the authors concluded that, “[c]linical and epidemiologic studies

have established beyond all reasonable doubt that chrysotile asbestos causes cancer of the lung,

malignant mesothelioma of the pleura and peritoneum, cancer of the larynx and certain

gastrointestinal cancers.” ); Langer, Asbestos in the lungs of persons exposed in the USA,

Monaldi Archives of Chest Diseases, 53(2):168-180 (1998)(in 12% of the mesothelioma cases,

the only asbestos fiber detected was chrysotile); Cullen, Chrysotile asbestos: enough is enough,

the Lancet 351:1377-1378 (1998); Landrigan, Asbestos – still a carcinogen, New Eng J Med,

338:1618-1619 (1998); Smith and Wright, Chrysotile Asbestos is the Main Cause of Pleural

Mesothelioma, American Journal of Industrial Medicine 30:252-66 (1996)( “chrysotile asbestos

is by far the main contributor to pleural mesothelioma causation in the United States and other

countries in which it has been the predominate fiber”).

With respect to friction product, researchers have documented physical evidence demonstrating

that exposure to chrysotile asbestos in brakes and clutches caused the development of

mesothelioma. In their paper, “Mesothelioma in a Brake Repair Worker,” The Lancet, November

13, 1982, Drs. Langer and McCaughey, described “a diffuse pleural mesothelioma in a man

whose sole exposure to asbestos was to the chrysotile form during brake maintenance and

repair.” To confirm this occupational history, autopsy tissue specimens of the lung were

examined and electron diffraction analysis confirmed the structures found in the lung to be that

of chrysotile asbestos.

In another study, Dr. Huncharek reported on tissue samples taken from the lining of the lung of

an automobile mechanic who died as a result of mesothelioma. An analysis of three such

specimens revealed 51 million to 266 million asbestos fibers per gram of wet tissue, 99% of

which were chrysotile asbestos. See Huncharek, Chrysotile Asbestos Exposure and

Mesothelioma, Brit. J. Indus. Med. 44:287-288 (1987). Given the undeniable association

between exposure to asbestos and the development of mesothelioma, the identification of

asbestos fibers in the lung tissues of individuals afflicted with mesothelioma who performed

brake repair work is conclusive physical evidence of causation.

In addition to these two articles, there have been many articles reporting the occurrence of

mesothelioma in workers who manufactured or repaired asbestos brake linings:

7 Godwin et al., Asbestos and Mesothelioma, jama, 204(11):151 (1968)(43 year-old who wove

brake linings for three years and later died of mesothelioma)

7 McDonald et al., Epidemiology of Primary Malignant Mesothelial Tumors in Canada, Cancer,

914-918 (1970)(reporting mesothelioma in two workers who installed brake linings)

7 Oels et al., Diffuse malignant mesothelioma of the pleura: A review of 37 cases, chest,

60(6):564, December 1971 (mesothelioma in a service station operator)

7 Rubino et al., Epidemiology of pleural mesothelioma in North-western Italy (Piedmont), Brit J

Industr Med, 29:436-442 (1972)(mesothelioma in 3 car assemblers and 1 mould maintenance

technician in a friction material factory)

7 Greenberg et al., Mesothelioma Register 1967-68, Brit. J. Indus. Med. 31:91-104

(1974)(reporting mesothelioma in motor mechanic)

7 Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, CDC, NIOSH, Minutes of Occupational

Exposures to Asbestos Dust from Brake Linings Meeting, July 21, 1973 (Dr. Mancuso reports a

mesothelioma case, proven by autopsy, in a garage mechanic and a mesothelioma in a millright

who was blowing out asbestos, friction-type clutches with compressed air)

7 Kagan et al., Lymphoid and Plasma Cell Malignancies: Asbestos-Related Disorders of Long

Latency, Amer. J. Clin. Path. 80(1):14-15 (1983)(reporting mesothelioma in brake lining


7 Guillon et al., A Case of Association of Myeloproliferative Syndrome and Pleural

Mesothelioma After an Asbestos Exposure, Archives Des Maladies Professionnelles De

Medecine Du Travail Et De Securite Sociale 45(2):119 (1984) (reporting mesothelioma in man

who worked in automobile workshop for many years)

7 Woitowitz et al., Pleuramesothelioma After Asbestos Dust Exposure in Brake Repair Work in

Automobile Repair Workshop: Case Observation, Praxis Und Klinik Der Pneumologie

39(10):362 (1985)(reporting 4 cases of mesothelioma in men exposed to asbestos dust from

friction products)

7 Huncharek et al., Pleural Mesothelioma in a Brake Mechanic, Brit. J. Indus. Med, 46:69-71

(1989)(describing mesothelioma in man whose only asbestos exposure was from clutch and

brake products)

7 Huncharek et al., Pleural Mesothelioma in a Lift Mechanic, Brit. J. Indus. Med, 46:500-501

(1989)(describing mesothelioma in patient whose primary exposure was to chrysotile asbestos

from lift pad brakes)

7 Alberta, Canada, Human Resources and Employment, Workplace Health and Safety, Report of

Occupational Disease Fatalities, January 2001 to December 31, 2001 (58 year old heavy duty

mechanic developed mesothelioma as a result of a 26 year exposure to asbestos dust from brake

linings and clutches and a 74 year old truck driver/parts person was exposed to asbestos while

handling brakes and developed malignant mesothelioma)

7 Alberta, Canada, Human Resources and Employment, Workplace Health and Safety, Report of

Occupational Disease Fatalities, January 2002 to December 31, 2002 (71 year old heavy duty

mechanic died from mesothelioma related to his exposure to asbestos from 1959-1972)

In addition to published case reports, there are instances of mesothelioma in the defendants’

corporate files. For example, James S. Ferguson, an Industrial Hygienist for the Ohio Workers’

Compensation Division reported on D.C. Farley, a 30-year employee of the Delco-Moraine

Division of General Motors who had been diagnosed with mesothelioma. See Report of Ohio

Workers’ Compensation Division of Safety & Hygiene, June 29, 1990. Delco-Moraine is the

division of General Motors where “brake and other friction components are manufactured.” After

reviewing some of the medical literature, Ferguson wrote:

As a result of the very low incidence of this disease in the general population and conclusive

evidence of an increased among asbestos workers (the only known occupational cause), any case

occurring in a person with an industrial asbestos exposure is assumed to a result of the exposure.

In support of his conclusion, Ferguson cites Murphy, Asbestos Related Disease Difficulties in

Diagnosing Occupationally-Related Illness, frontiers in medicine, Vol. 9, 1981 for the

proposition that “[w]hen mesothelioma occurs in an asbestos worker with a prolonged period

from onset of initial exposure to asbestos, it is almost certain that a cause-and-effect relationship

exists.” With respect to the causation in Mr. Farley’s case, Ferguson states, “there is little

argument of cause for mesothelioma when known asbestos exposures have occurred.

The evidence of causation between exposure to asbestos from friction products is not limited

simply to case reports. There is also epidemiologic evidence that supports this relationship. First,

there is some evidence that individuals that manufactured friction products can contract

mesothelioma. A study of 3276 male and female workers in an asbestos textile friction and

packing plant in the United States that used 99% chrysotile asbestos revealed 17 deaths from

mesothelioma, representing 4.3% of all of the deaths. Robinson, Lemen, Wagoner, Mortality

patterns, 1940-1975 among workers employed in an asbestos textile friction and packing

products manufacturing facility, Dust and Disease, Lemen, Dement (eds.). Pathotox publishers,

Park Forest, IL (1979). The authors concluded that there was an excess risk for mesothelioma

among males and females. See also Berry, G., Mortality and Cancer Incidence of Workers

Exposed to Chrysotile Asbestos in the Friction-Products Industry, Ann. Occup. Hyg., 38(4):539-

546 (1994)(A review article demonstrating mesotheliomas among brake factory workers in

Canada and the United Kingdom although noting diagnostic complications as well as possible

amphibole contamination in the plants); Teta, et al, Mesothelioma in Connecticut, 1955-1977,

Journal of Occupational Medicine, 25(10): 749-755 (1983)(identifying 3 cases of mesothelioma

among workers in the Connecticut brake factory of Raybestos-Manhattan: 1 definite, 1 probable

and 1 possible).

Epidemiologic studies have also demonstrated mesothelioma cases among automobile

mechanics. McDonald and his colleagues reported on two workers who developed mesothelioma

as a result of installing brake linings. Epidemiology of Primary Malignant Mesothelial Tumors in

Canada, Cancer, 914-918 (1970). A subsequent study identified 11 mesotheliomas in brake

mechanics but the authors concluded there was no increased risk of developing mesothelioma in

this trade. McDonald et al., Malignant Mesothelioma in North America, Cancer 46:1650-1656


In Sweden, 21,905 car mechanics were followed for 18 years and a case of mesothelioma was

discovered. Given an incidence in the unexposed population of one in million, a single case of

mesothelioma case found after 394,290 person-years of observation would yield an increased

risk of more than twice the expected. The authors, however, did not calculate an expected rate

and seemed to place undue emphasis on the possibility the worker with mesothelioma might

have been exposed to asbestos in another occupation. Jarvholm Asbestos Associated Tumors in

Car Mechanics, Br. j. indus. med., 45:645-646 (1988).

In Denmark, 21,800 auto mechanics were followed for 10 years, yielding 218,000 person-years

of observation. Again, a single case of mesothelioma was discovered and, again, the author did

not calculate an expected rate in the population. Based on the background rate of one in million,

the occurrence of a single case in 218,000 person-years would yield an increased risk greater

than four times the general population. This calculation is supported by the other data in the

paper where the author found one case of a more common respiratory cancer and calculated a

Standard Mortality Ratio of 400. Hansen et al. Mortality of Auto Mechanics, Scand. J. Work and

Environ. Health 15:43-46 (1989).

In a study of mesothelioma cases in the Los Angeles and New York areas, Spirtas broke the

occupational histories into various activities, nine of which demonstrated a significant odds ratio

for the association of asbestos exposure with mesothelioma. One of the nine activities was brake

lining work or repair that included 33 cases of mesothelioma. Because many subjects had

multiple activities involving asbestos exposure, the author was unable to present results for each

of the nine activities individually. Spirtas, Malignant mesothelioma: attributable risk of asbestos

exposure, Occup. and Environ. med. 51:804, 805 (1994)

The most compelling epidemiologic evidence, however, was presented by Dr. Douglas

Henderson, a Professor of Pathology at Flinders University of South Australia and member of an

Expert Medical Panel for the World Trade Organization. He noted that 58 mesotheliomas had

been reported to the Australian Mesothelioma Registry over a thirteen-year period between 1986

and 1999 in individuals who were only exposed to asbestos through their work with friction

products. Analyzing this data in conjunction with census data regarding the number of workers

involved in brake work, Dr. Henderson concluded that friction workers are at a ten-fold

increased risk for contracting mesothelioma when compared to the unexposed population. See

Excerpt from World Trade Organization Report, Report of Dr. Douglas Henderson, p. 303,

paragraph 5.253

There have also been case reports and some epidemiologic support for the occurrence of

mesothelioma among family members of mechanics, individuals whose sole exposure to asbestos

was from the work clothes of their husband or father. See Vianna et al., Non-Occupational

Exposure to Asbestos and Malignant Mesothelioma in Females, The Lancet, May 20, 1978, pp.

1061-63 (reporting two cases of mesothelioma in house wives whose husbands worked with

brake linings); Environmental Protection Agency, Guidance for Preventing Asbestos Disease

Among Auto Mechanics, p. 2 (1986) (describing mesothelioma in a ten-year old son of a brake

mechanic); Castleman, Asbestos: Medical and Legal Aspects, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (1984)

(citing Ziem who reported on a case of mesothelioma in a mechanic’s wife).

While, from the Plaintiff Attorney’s perspective, there is substantial credible evidence

demonstrating a causal relationship between exposure to friction products and the subsequent

development of mesothelioma, there have been epidemiologic studies that do not support this

proposition. As mentioned above, while McDonald reported mesothelioma in 11 garage workers,

12 controls of his controls had also worked in garages. McDonald et al., Malignant

Mesothelioma in North America, Cancer 46:1650-1656 (1980). While the authors did not

calculate a relative risk or provide any information by which to assess the power of the study to

detect the risk of disease or assess the statistical significance of their findings, they nevertheless

concluded there was no increased risk of mesothelioma.

In Teta’s study, also cited above, there were two cases of mesothelioma among brake mechanics

and four brake mechanics in the control population. The authors, therefore, calculated a relative

risk of only .65, demonstrating a decreased risk of disease. Teta et al, Mesothelioma in

Connecticut, 1955-1977, Journal of Occupational Medicine, 25(10): 749-755 (1983). The small

number of cases involving automobile service workers, however, must temper the interpretation

of this study. While the calculated relative risk was low, the confidence interval, the range of

values within which the results of a study sample would be likely to fall if the study were

repeated numerous times, ranged from .08 to 5.53. In other words, if this study were repeated,

95% of the time, the risk of harm would fall somewhere between negligible and 500% greater

than the general population.

In Germany in 1994, researchers found 16 cases of mesothelioma in car mechanics but also

found 16 mechanics in their hospital controls and 12 in their population controls. Woitowitz and

Rodelsperger, Mesothelioma among car mechanics?, Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 38(4):

635-638 (1994). The results of the German study are confounded by their decision to use lung

cancer patients as the control group. It is a well-accepted epidemiological procedure not to use a

population with potential exposure to the substance being studied as your control population as

this will skew your results towards finding no increased risk of the disease. See Spirtas,

Malignant mesothelioma: attributable risk of asbestos exposure, Occup. and Environ. med.

51:804, 805 (1994). Because of the strong association between asbestos exposure and lung

cancer, it is probable that some of the German control group may have had previous occupational

exposures to asbestos.

There are two other studies that did not find a relationship between friction product exposure and

mesothelioma, Teschke, et al., Mesothelioma Surveillance to Locate Sources of Exposure to

Asbestos, Canadian Journal of Public Health, May-June 1997, 163-168 (Odds Ratio – Brake

lining installation or repair – .3 with a 95% CI of 0-1.4) and Agudo, et al., Occupation and Risk

of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: A Case-Control Study in Spain, American Journal of

Industrial Medicine, 37:159-168 (2000)(3 mesotheliomas in motor vehicle mechanics, 14 in


An attorney prosecuting a friction products case should also be aware that in 2001, Otto Wong, a

long time expert witness for the friction products industry, published his meta-analysis of the

various epidemiologic studies involving brake workers. See Malignant Mesothelioma and

Asbestos Exposure among Auto Mechanics: Appraisal of the Scientific Evidence, Regulatory

Toxicology and Pharmacology, 34: 170-177 (2001). Not surprisingly, given his ideological bend,

he found a summary risk of .9 with a 95% CI of .66-1.23.

In defending some of the friction product cases, defense experts will also cite to proportionate

morality studies like Coggon, et. al, Differences in occupational mortality from pleural cancer,

peritoneal cancer, and asbestosis, Occupational Environmental Medicine, 52:775-777

(1995)(motor mechanics PMR 46, 12 deaths from pleural cancer; PMR 88, three deaths from

peritoneal cancer; PMR 80, two deaths from asbestosis) and Hodgson, Mesothelioma Mortality

in Britain: Patterns by Birth Cohort and Occupation, Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 41(1):

129-133 (1997)(car mechanics placed in Group C, the lowest risk group with a group PMR

below 1).

Proportionate morality studies, however, are not comparing exposed occupational groups to a

group that has not been exposed to the substance in question. Instead, proportionate morality

studies simply compare the number of deaths in one occupation with the number of deaths

overall, including many individuals that have had occupational exposure to asbestos. In a recent

study, the author emphasized that:

[i]t should be noted that a PMR of 1 does not represent the “background” risk level for

mesothelioma (i.e. the level that would be expected in the absence of all asbestos exposure). A

hypothetical group of men with zero exposure to asbestos would record a PMR of about .07. At

the same time it must be remembered that a male PMR of (say) 0.35 does not necessarily

represent a five times background risk arising in that occupation, since the relevant occupation

may not be the last one held.

Mesothelioma Occupation Statistics: For male deaths aged 16-84 in England and Wales, 1979-

1995 (excluding 1981), Epidemiology and Medical Statistics Unit, Health and Safety Executive

(June 1999).


Corporate knowledge of the risks of exposure to asbestos can be demonstrated through a variety

of different avenues. First, various trade organizations have had access to the historical medical

and scientific literature on asbestos disease as the articles were published. The most significant

of these organizations was the Industrial Hygiene Foundation (“IHF”) was established in 1935 to

promulgate “authoritative and approved standards for the control of industrial dusts which, if

complied with by industries, or by industrial companies, will act as a defense against personal

injury suits.” See Roger Hitchens, Chairman, Report of Temporary Organization Committee,

(February 5, 1935). One of the services offered by the IHF was an abstracting service that

reviewed over 300 medical and scientific publications each month and summarized any articles

regarding hazardous substances used in industry.

These abstracts were contained within a monthly publication entitled the Industrial Hygiene

Digest that was available to all members of the IHF. Between 1937 and 1963 over 30,000

abstracts were compiled. Virtually every important article concerning the health hazards of

asbestos was abstracted in the Industrial Hygiene Digest within months of their publication

including articles published in other countries. For example, as noted in the previous section,

Brachmann reported on the incidence of asbestosis of Grinders and Drillers of Brake Bands in

1940. The article was written in German and published in the German periodical Arbeitsschutz.

Nevertheless, in the April 1941 Industrial Hygiene Digest, a abstract of that article in the English

language appears.

Ford joined the IHF in January of 1947 and remained a member until 1974. GM has been a

member since 1942. Chrysler admits in discovery responses that it was a member of the IHF but

will not disclose the dates of membership.

Another source for proving corporate knowledge is discovery regarding the types of publications

kept in the corporation’s library. For example, Chrysler maintained a 1943 Manual of Industrial

Hygiene that contains a description of asbestosis. There is also a textbook in the Chrysler library

from 1954 that reports on the excessive incidence of pulmonary cancer among workers in the

asbestos industry and a 1957 toxicology textbook that references Dr. Richard Doll’s 1955 lung

cancer study and its conclusion that lung cancer is a specific hazard of asbestos workers. In

addition, the Chrysler library contained a 1958 publication, Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology,

edited by Frank Patty, an industrial hygienist associated with GM, that contain a chapter on

pulmonary dust diseases, including asbestosis.

Additional evidence that bears on the issue of notice of the hazards of asbestos is a 1950

Newsweek magazine that contains advertisements for Chrysler, Ford and General Motors. In that

magazine, Dr. W.C. Heuper of the National Cancer Institute is quoted for his statement that

airborne asbestos particles are one of the probable causes of increased lung and respiratory tract


In addition to information obtained from outside sources, there is also considerable evidence

within the corporate files of these companies that demonstrate they knew of the hazards of

exposure to asbestos. The most infamous of this type of evidence is contained with the files of

Bendix. On September 12, 1966, the Director of Purchases for the Bendix, E. A. Martin wrote to

Noel Hendry at Canadian Johns-Manville enclosing a copy of an article that appeared in

Chemical Week regarding a legislative attempt to limit the use of asbestos because of growing

concerns regarding health hazards. In closing, Martin wrote, “My answer to the problem is: if

you have enjoyed a good life while working with asbestos products why not die from it. There’s

got to be some cause.”

In 1976, Bendix recruited one of its staff, Jacob Tawiah to prepare an executive summary of the

known effects of asbestos. While of limited utility to prove notice given its late date of creation,

certain statements within the document contradict defenses raised by their attorneys in litigation.

For example, Tawiah writes, “All commercial forms of asbestos cause asbestosis, bronchogenic

cancer and mesothelioma.

Still another source of evidence relating particularly to those companies that manufactured

friction products is the warnings that they received from their suppliers. Beginning in 1969,

suppliers of asbestos fiber like Lake Asbestos, The Ruberiod Company, Carey Canada, and

Johns-Manville all placed caution labels on the bags of asbestos stating that ‘persons exposed to

this material should wear adequate protective devices as inhalation of this material over long

periods may be harmful.

Despite all of the evidence about knowledge, Bendix allegedly first placed cautionary language

on its packages of friction products allegedly in late 1973, GM first placed cautionary language

on its packages of friction products in 1975, Ford in 1980 and Chrysler in 1983. The words

“warning” and “cancer” did not appear in any cautionary statements until the late 1980s.

Defendant AlliedSignal, Inc.’s and Chrysler’s Responses to Plaintiff’s First Set of Interrogatories,

King v. Allied-Signal, At Law No. 24242-W01, Circuit Court for the City of Newport News,

Virginia, 12/4/87 (Bendix first received knowledge of a claim against it for an alleged asbestos

related condition on November 12, 1975, Chrysler in 1978)

The Mealey’s referenced is the Mealey’s Litigation Reporter: Asbestos

Ironically, Elmer Ambrose Sperry of Cleveland, Ohio invented the spot-type disc brake in 1898.

He made a large disc integral with the hub on each wheel and used electromagnets to press

smaller discs, lined with a friction material, against spots on the rotating disc to bring the wheel

to a stop.

The use of asbestos as a pad material in disc brakes dates back to 1907 when Herbert Frood, an

Englishman. He came up with idea to use asbestos because the linings eliminated the noise of

metal-to-metal contact and also outlasted other friction materials by a wide margin. Car

manufacturers quickly adopted the new material for both drum and disc brakes.

In 1997, Chrysler answered interrogatories revealing that it continued to sell a B350 van that

utilized an asbestos brake lining.

After Mr. Froehlich, GM’s expert, provided his candid opinion that work with asbestos friction

products produces significant asbestos exposure, GM sought vehemently to suppress his

testimony and keep it secret. GM sought a court order to prevent the dissemination of this candid

testimony that indicted friction products as causing significant asbestos exposure. See Entry

Enforcing Agreed Protective Order, in Terry v. Conrad, In the Court of Common Pleas,

Montgomery County, Ohio, Civ. Div., Case No. 98-893.

While some animal studies showed fosterite to be acutely toxic, there are no studies implicating

fosterite as a cause of mesothelioma. See Jagatic, et al., Tissue response to intraperitoneal

asbestos with preliminary report of acute toxicity of heat treated asbestos in mice, 1 Env’l

Research 217-230 (1967)(chrysotile heated to high temperatures and injected killed 60% of the

mice within 48 hours); Davis and Coniam, Experimental Studies on the Effects of Heated

Chrysotile Asbestos and Automobile Brake Lining Dust Injected into the Body Cavities of Mice,

Experimental and Molecular Pathology, 19: 339-353 (1973)(first series of experiments showed

signs of toxic effects but overall fosterite produced very small granulomas and little fibrosis).

Many of the chrysotile fibers that Rohl found were smaller than 1 micron in length. Defendants

frequently assert that OSHA does not regulate fiber emissions where the fibers are below five

microns because such small fibers have of very little, if any, fibergenic and carcinogenic

potential. This contention, however, is contrary to OSHA’s position. The reason that OSHA uses

the 5-micron standard is not because small fibers are not harmful but because OHSA need a

practical method that can be used in the field to provide a relatively cost effective and quick

method for estimating exposure. A simple light microscope can only detect fibers 5 microns or

greater in length. See Langer, et al., Variation of Some Properties of Chrysotile Asbestos, supra,

at [Bates A06116] (“the 5 [micron] fiber was selected as the lower limit for counting, mostly on

a utilitarian basis and not because of biological considerations.” ).

As a point of reference, the current permissible exposure level is 0.1 f/cc

In a continuing effort to influence the medical and scientific literature on the issues involving

exposures to friction products, Ford, Chrysler and GM has financed the efforts of scientists at

Exponent, Inc., a large defendant-oriented research organization, who have submitted for

publication two articles, one involving the “state-of-the-art” and one involving the level of

asbestos exposure in friction repair operations. Not surprisingly, the “state-of-the-art” article will

conclude that the risk of disease to garage mechanics was not known until the mid to late 1970s

and that the car manufacturers acted prudently in response to that knowledge. Currently, three of

the scientists at Exponent have been listed as witnesses for Ford, Chrysler and GM, Dr. Dennis J.

Paustenbach, a certified industrial hygienist and board-certified toxicologist, and Drs. Mary Jane

Teta and Michael Goodman, epidemiologists.


Friction Perspective





Jonathan A. Smith-George

Law Office of Jonathan A. Smith-George

10231 Warwick Blvd.

Newport News, VA 23601

(757) 223-1275


Portions of this paper were taken from the Introduction to Science Brief, The Friction About

Friction Product Safety, In Re: Federal-Mogul Global, Inc., et al., Case No. 01-10587, United

States Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware. Mr. Smith-George and Mr. Robert T. Haefele, an

attorney with Motley Rice LLP, authored those portions. While some of the language is

verbatim, it has been incorporated into a completely redrafted format. Mr. Haefele has graciously

granted his permission for the use of his words.


There are those in the legal community that contend that the litigation against the manufacturers

and producers of asbestos-containing friction products is a recent phenomena prompted by the

many bankruptcies of the insulation manufacturers. These parties contend that the “friction

defendants” are peripheral defendants unfairly caught in the web of the asbestos litigation.

Contrary to these assertions, litigation against manufacturers of asbestos friction material has

been ongoing for over 25 years. This is not surprising given that one of the largest importers of

Canadian chrysotile over the last six decades has been the friction product industry.

The results from litigation involving friction product industry has been mixed. In some cases the

plaintiffs were unable to establish the presence of an asbestos-related disease. See Long, et. al. v.

Carlisle Corp., Philadelphia Common Pleas, Mealey’s Vol. 8, No. 5, 4/2/93 at 29 (5 defense

verdicts and 2 plaintiff verdicts totaling $130,000.00 for mechanics and laborers at the Southeast

Pennsylvania Transit Authority); Estate of Richard Amole and Estates of Anna and Cosmo

Tedeschi, Philadelphia Common Pleas, Mealey’s Vol. 8, No. 4, 3/19/93 at 30 (asbestos not a

substantial contributing factor in colon cancer and lung cancer cases of railroad car repairman)

In other cases, the lack of compelling product identification and exposure evidence has resulted

in defense verdicts. See Reyes v. Raybestos-Manhattan, San Francisco County, Mealey’s, Vol.

16, No. 3, 3/9/01 at 7-8 (defense verdict in case involving auto parts counterman who claimed

exposure to friction products during 40 year career); Vaughan v. Brown & Root, County Court at

Law No. 3, Dallas, Texas, Mealey’s, Vol. 15, No. 13, 8/4/00, at 6 (directed verdict in favor of

brake lining defendants at end of plaintiff’s case in chief based on plaintiff’s failure to meet the

proximity, frequency and regularly test of exposure under Indiana law); Mitchell v. Raybestos-

Manhattan, Mealey’s, Vol. 15, No. 3, 3/3/00 at 4-5, (jury’s finding that John Deere brake

products were 1.5% responsible for $5.9 million verdict vacated by court because plaintiff did

present “substantial evidence of exposure to John Deere parts”); Wood v. Ford Motor Co., 703

A.2d 1315 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 1998)(Maryland Court of Appeals reversed a jury award of $6.3

million on the ground that the evidence “simply was too thin “to demonstrate the decedent was

sufficiently exposed to Ford products).

In still other cases, the friction defendants successfully convinced the jury that the decedent’s

disease was caused by exposure to asbestos in other occupations. See Lansford v. Able Supply

Co., Shelby County, Texas, 10/12/02 (3 years in a shipyard and 40 years as a parts manager for a

Chrysler dealership); King v. AlliedSignal, Inc., Circuit Court for City of Newport News,

Mealey’s, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2/23/01, at 15 (jury apparently swayed that 20 months exposure at the

local shipyard caused the mesothelioma despite 20 years as a garage mechanic); Chavers v.

Owens-Illinois, Inc., San Francisco County, Mealey’s, Vol. 15, No. 8, 3/23/00 ($4.6 million

verdict against insulation manufacturer but defense verdict against brake defendant); Estate of

Robert Sables v. Allied Signal, St. Lucie County, Fla., 19th Jud. Ct., Mealey’s Vol. 8, No. 6,

4/16/93 (defense verdict in mesothelioma case of 57 year old service manager of several tire

stores who claimed 14 years of exposure to friction products but also worked as a truck driver

hauling Transite pipe made of crocidolite asbestos).

There have been, however, significant plaintiff verdicts against various friction product

manufacturers, the most recent of which was a New York jury finding that Honeywell, the parent

of the company that made Bendix brakes, was responsible for 45.75% of a $53 million dollar

award for the widow of a man who worked both in auto repair garages and in shipyards. Brown

v. ACand S, Mealey’s, Vol. 17, No. 2, 2/15/02, at 3. See also Stricklande v. Kellogg Brown &

Root, Mealey’s, Vol.17, No. 6, 6/21/02 at 13 (General Motors, Ford and Bendix found 21%

responsible for $158,200 verdict to a brake mechanic with asbestosis); Horton v. AlliedSignal,

Ohio Trial Reporter, Vol. 15, No. 9, 2/23/01, at 6 ($1.8 settlement from Ford, Chrysler, General

Motors, Abex and Bendix for a former garage mechanic who developed mesothelioma); Berning

v. AP Green Industries, Inc. San Francisco Sup. Ct., Vol. 17, No. 1, 2/1/02, at 14 ($1.2 million

verdict against Bendix for a plaintiff who contracted mesothelioma from repairing brakes on his

own family’s vehicles); Marion v. Nationwide Brake and Alignment Centers, Cuyahoga County

Common Pleas, Ohio, 2/29/00 (default judgment of $4.45 million in case of 51 year old

mesothelioma brake installer in case that had settled with 12 automobile and brake

manufacturers for $1.3 million); Ford Motor Co. v. Wood, 703 A.2d 1315 (Md. Ct. Spec. App.

1998)(the $8.06 million verdict for the mesothelioma wrongful death of garage mechanic Grewe,

a co-plaintiff of Ford, was affirmed on appeal); Brown v. Borg-Warner Corp., Mealey’s, Vol. 13,

No. 5 ($1 million verdict for a plaintiff with asbestosis who worked with Borg-Warner’s

asbestos-containing clutch facings).

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the issues faced by a plaintiff’s lawyer in preparing to

prosecute a friction products claim.


The first step in evaluating a friction products case is to investigate the types of brake and clutch

products to which the plaintiff was exposed. Detailed below is a quick overview of the different

types of friction products that someone working on automobiles may encounter.

Brake Products

With regards to brakes, there are two main types used on passenger cars and light trucks, drum

brakes and disc brakes.

Drum brakes consist of curved brake shoes that rest within a rotating iron cylinder, or drum,

which is connected to the axle and the wheel. When drum brakes are applied, hydraulic pressure

from the master cylinder pushes a pair of pistons in the drum against the brake shoes. The shoes

then press against the wall of the drum, slowing the wheel. When the brakes are released, springs

pull the shoes back away from the drum. The drum brake system contained two brake shoes per

wheel, a primary and a secondary.

Up until the 1960s, the friction lining was riveted to the brake shoes, necessitating the drilling of

holes into the lining. During the 1960s, processes were developed to bind the lining directly to

the shoe without resort to rivets.

While the drum brake was the essentially the only type of braking system used on United States

automobiles from the 1930s until the late 1960s, disk brakes became more or less standard on

European cars during the 1950s. Disk brakes have greater stopping power than drum brakes and

are usually installed on the front wheels to improve braking during sudden stops. Disk brakes

consist of a metal disc or rotor that is connected to the wheel. A device called a caliper rests on

the edge of the rotor and holds two friction pads on either side of the rotor. Applying the brakes

causes fluid to push a piston within the caliper, which pinches the brake pads against the rotor

and slows the wheel. This process is similar to a bicycle brake where two rubber pads rub against

the wheel rim creating friction.

Disk brakes were first adopted by American manufacturers beginning in the late 1960s but were

only used on the front of the car. It was not until the early 1980s that American manufacturers

introduced all wheel disc brakes.

Both drum and disk brakes are subject to considerable heating during the braking process. In

either case, the friction surfaces of the shoes on a drum brake or the pads on a disk brake system

convert the forward motion of the vehicle into heat. Heat is what causes the friction surfaces

(linings) of the pads and shoes to eventually wear out and require replacement. Accordingly the

brake linings in drum brakes and the brake pads in disk brakes were originally made of asbestos,

a heat-resistant material. These friction products contained between 25 to 75% chrysotile

asbestos. Beginning in the late 1980s, original equipment manufacturers began replacing the

asbestos brake linings with semi-metallic linings and other non-asbestos compositions in new

cars. Some models of certain manufacturers, however, contained asbestos linings into the late

1990s. Some replacement brake linings made by parts manufacturers still contain asbestos.

Clutch Facings

In addition to the brakes, asbestos was used in the friction lining of the clutch disc. The clutch

disc is basically a steel plate, covered with a frictional material that goes between the flywheel

and the pressure plate. In the center of the disc is the hub, which is designed to fit over the spines

of the input shaft of the transmission. When the clutch is engaged, the disc is “squeezed”

between the flywheel and pressure plate, and power from the engine is transmitted by the disc’s

hub to the input shaft of the transmission. The friction material on a clutch disc is very similar to

the friction material on the pads of a disc brake, or the shoes of a drum brake– after a while, it

wears away. When most or all of the friction material is gone, the clutch will start to slip, and

eventually it won’t transmit any power from the engine to the wheels.

In a manual transmission, the clutch disc and its lining are housed between the engine and the

transmission. Debris from the wearing of the clutch can collect in this housing.

An automatic transmission, on the other hand, has a “wet” clutch system where the clutch facings

are immersed in oil. Chrysotile, crocidolite and Anthophyllite asbestos were used in the

manufacture of automatic transmission clutch plate facings.

In addition to these products, there are other components of an automobile that contain asbestos.

An automatic transmission also has a rigid asbestos band around it containing between 10 and

50% chrysotile and many of the heat resistant gaskets and seals in the engine contain asbestos.

Most of the asbestos friction product litigation, however, has centered on brakes and clutch



Another car part that contained asbestos is the muffler, althought it is difficult to conceive a

mechanic having any significant exposure to asbestos from inside a muffler:


With a basic understanding of the different types of friction products involved in the case, the

next crucial step is to identify the manufacturer and/or distributor of the product. Most of the

product identification will be based upon the information that the plaintiff or his co-workers

recall from the cartons of aftermarket friction products that were installed during the repair of the

brakes or transmission. The names on the boxes, however, do not always indicate the

manufacturer of the product. Each of the Big Three automobile makers relied, to some extent, on

other manufacturers to market their aftermarket brakes. As for the original equipment that was

incorporated into the new vehicles that were sold, General Motors manufacturer most of its

original equipment brakes, Chrysler manufactured some of its original equipment and Ford

Motor company bought all of its friction products from other sources. Listed below are excerpts

for Interrogatories of the Big Three automakers as well as a few of their major suppliers. In

reviewing this information, it is important to note that five significant suppliers of asbestos

friction materials are in bankruptcy proceedings, Raybestos and its predecessor Raybestos-

Manhattan; Johns-Manville Corporation; H.K. Porter and its Thermoid Division, Gatke

Corporation and Federal Mogul and its subsidiaries Wagner Electric, Ferodo and Nuturn


GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION was incorporated in the state of Delaware in 1916.

General Motors manufactured asbestos drum brake linings at its Inland Division plant in Dayton,

Ohio (1939-64) and Vandalia, Ohio (1962 to present) and asbestos disc brake linings at its Delco

Moraine Division in Dayton, Ohio (1966-1985). The drum brake linings contained 50 to 75%

chrysotile asbestos and were sold under the trade names of “Inlite” or “Delco.” GM stopped

selling drum brake linings in 1979 but continued to incorporate them in new cars. The disc brake

linings contained 30 to 60% chrysotile asbestos and were sold under the trade name “Delco.”


Electrical Workers Union Issues Warning about Mesothelioma Risk


Hundreds of electricians around the country are thought to have contracted deadly mesothelioma from working on meter boards which may contain asbestos.


The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) has issued a warning to its members and says it wants the states to carry out an audit of meter boards in government-owned buildings.


There are potentially thousands of electrical boards around the country with asbestos in them.


The latest concern comes after a worker in New South Wales feared being exposed to the deadly dust last week.


He is now waiting on the results of health tests.


Brian Stokes worked as an electrician from 1952 to 1995 and recently found out he has mesothelioma.


“I had a persistent cough and then the doctor had an X-ray taken and that’s where it showed up with the fluid around the lung,” he said.


“You can hardly see my ribcage from all the fluid around me lungs and he (the doctor) realised something was drastically wrong.”


Mr Stokes says he is still coming to terms with his diagnosis.


“It didn’t hit me straight away and it still hasn’t really hit me, but I’m just treating it as every day, to live as best I can,” he said.


Mr Stokes has no doubt the cancer in his lungs came from the deadly fibres found in meter boards he once worked on.


Union alert


ETU assistant national secretary Allen Hicks says too many of its members have contracted mesothelioma over the years.


“If there’s a risk, any risk at all, of exposure to asbestos then we would certainly recommend our members not work on those boards till such time as it’s been remedied,” he said.


“We’re not confident that all electrical workers understand these risks and we want to make sure it’s loudly known and clearly known to electrical workers across the country.”


Brian Stokes’s lawyer Tanya Segelov supports the ETU’s national action.


“That’s an electrician’s main exposure, is through switchboard and there have been hundreds and hundreds of electricians who have contracted mesothelioma as a result,” she said.


In addition to being a partner at Turner Freeman lawyers, Ms Segelov was also a member of the Federal Government’s asbestos management review.


“In the recommendation of that report which is with Government is that only licensed professionals deal with asbestos,” he said.


Ms Segelov says electricians need to be properly trained to deal with the threat.


“We considered that in the review and we believe that if it is incidental to your work, then you can work with it but people must be properly trained, they must undergo a course, they must have some certification so that they identify the asbestos and they know what precautions they need to take, she said.

Mesothelioma: Canada Finally Stops Supporting the Killing Machine

Published: September 17, 2012

by Bill Chappell

Canada's leaders have ended their country's longstanding resistance to asbestos being called a dangerous material under United Nations guidelines, a decision that reflects a shift in the leadership of Quebec province, home of Canada's asbestos industry.

Quebec's incoming premier, Pauline Marois, promised late in her campaign that she would shut down the region's asbestos mines for good. She says that she will use money that would have gone to restart the mines to diversify the local economy.

As Dan Karpenchuk reports for NPR's Newscast unit:

“Canadian industry minister Christian Paradis made the announcement in the town of Thetford Mines, in the heart of Quebec's asbestos belt. He blamed the incoming separatist government in Quebec for promising to cancel a $58 million loan that would have reopened Canada's last major asbestos mine.”

“Paradis says it means hundreds of workers will remain without jobs. But he says it would no longer make sense for Ottawa to support the asbestos industry when Quebec, the only province that produces it, will prohibit its exploitation.”

The CBC reports that in 2010, “Canada was producing 150,000 tonnes of asbestos annually, all of it in Quebec, and exporting 90 percent — worth about $90 million — to developing countries.”

Canada has long been criticized for its stance on asbestos. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and others have been steadfast in their support of the industry, resisting efforts to include asbestos in the U.N. Rotterdam Convention, a treaty that lists chrysotile and other forms of the material as hazardous.

Writing in The Toronto Star, columnist David Olive says, “Canada's hypocrisy on asbestos has long been malodorous. Like almost all advanced countries, Canada has banned most domestic uses of asbestos, whose fire-retardant properties are greatly outweighed by its carcinogenic ones. Harper has been spending millions of dollars to remove the last traces of asbestos in the Parliament Buildings and his official residence at 24 Sussex Drive.”

Back in 2010, NPR's Brenda Wilson summed up the broader dispute over asbestos:

“On one side is the World Health Organization contending that all types cause cancer and that its continued use, primarily in countries like China, India, Brazil, Mexico, and other places will only prolong the epidemic of cancers related to its use. The cancers can take up to 30 to 40 years to develop.”

“On the other side is the proud little town of Asbestos, two hours outside Montreal, Canada, where BBC producer Steve Bradshaw says, 'There's a mine in the center of town that is as deep as the Eiffel Tower is high.'”

Canada's asbestos industry has been in a recent decline — earlier this year, the Chrysotile Institute, a powerful industry lobbying group, closed after it stopped receiving government support.

News of Canada's shift came out late Friday — evidence, perhaps, that Canadian politicians, like their counterparts to the south, prefer to save problematic news for the end of the week, when they can “dump” them into the mix of weekend plans and movie reviews that many people concern themselves with on Fridays. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

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The Truth About Asbestos Disease

In defending asbestos cases the industry often attempts to distort the evidence of asbestos dangers and it's ability to cause cancer. The following represents the opinions of literally hundreds if not thousands of medical experts.

Union for the International Control of Cancer adopts Position Statement on Asbestos

Kathleen Ruff, RightOnCanada.ca, Sep 4, 2012

The Union for the International Control of Cancer (UICC) has adopted the following Position Statement on Asbestos. The UICC comprises more than 700 member organisations in 155 countries. The Position Statement (see below) includes the following recommendations to governments around the world.


1. Calls for a global ban on the mining, use, and export of all forms of asbestos;

2. Calls specifically on all asbestos exporting countries to respect the right to health by ceasing the mining, use, and export of asbestos, and providing transition assistance to their asbestos-mining communities;

3. Calls specifically on the all asbestos-using countries to cease use of asbestos;

4. Urges all countries that have used asbestos to inform their citizens and their healthcare professionals of the hazards of asbestos and to implement safety measures to monitor the health of citizens who are likely to have been exposed at any point in their lives. To facilitate this, an inventory of asbestos already in place is needed, particularly in schools and places where children are present.



We have known of a link between asbestos and lung disease since the beginning of the 18th century. The link with mesothelioma and lung cancer, both poor prognosis cancers, has only been known since the 1960′s. Unfortunately, the number of cases of mesothelioma in industrialised countries is expected to peak within the next 20 years because of the heavy use of asbestos in the period 1950s-1970s and bans on its use thereafter.

There is currently sufficient evidence demonstrating that asbestos causes cancers of the lung, larynx, ovary and pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma in humans.

All types of asbestos fibres are carcinogenic to humans. The various types of fibres increase the risk of the above cancers to different extents.

Both cigarette smoking and asbestos exposure increase lung cancer risk, and when they are present together they act in a multiplicative fashion.

Occupational exposure to asbestos occurs in mining and milling of asbestiform minerals, as well as of minerals embodied in rocks that contain asbestiform fibres.

Occupational exposure has also occurred and in some cases continues to occur in non-mining settings. These include the construction, thermal and electrical insulation, roofing, friction materials, cement, textile and ship-building industries.

Asbestos exposure may also occur in individuals living in the neighbourhood of asbestos industries and people who live in household of asbestos workers (e.g. someone washing work clothes). The general population may be exposed to asbestos from the decay of asbestos-containing building materials, or through undertaking home maintenance or renovation.

A rigorous review of the epidemiologic evidence confirms that all types of asbestos fibre are causally implicated in the development of various diseases and premature death. Numerous well-respected international and national scientific organisations, have concluded that all forms of asbestos are capable of inducing mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and other diseases.

Between 1994 and 2008 a total of 92,253 mesothelioma deaths were reported across 83 countries. The number of lung cancer deaths caused by asbestos is likely to be at least as many.



Straif et al. Lancet Oncology (10) 453-454 May 2009 A review of human carcinogens–Part C: metals, arsenic, dusts, and fibres


The majority of industrialised countries have virtually ceased using asbestos and over 50 countries have passed laws banning its use (1). Consequently, the asbestos industry, to establish new markets, is promoting the use of asbestos in low-to-middle income countries, particularly in Asia, and has created lobby organisations to achieve this goal (2).

In spite of the scientific evidence and calls to end all use of asbestos by many organisations including the World Health Organization, the World Federation of Public Health Associations, the International Commission on Occupational Health, the International Social Security Association, the International Trade Union Confederation and the World Bank, the use of asbestos is increasing in low-to-middle income countries. There is little awareness in these countries of the risk that asbestos poses to health; in addition, safety regulations are weak to non-existent. If unstopped, this continued and increasing use of asbestos will lead to avoidable asbestos-related cancers and lung diseases and premature death for decades to come in those countries, repeating the epidemic we are witnessing today in industrialised countries that used asbestos in the past.

The UICC Position and Recommendation to Governments

1. Calls for a global ban on the mining, use, and export of all forms of asbestos;

2. Calls specifically on all asbestos exporting countries to respect the right to health by ceasing the mining, use, and export of asbestos, and providing transition assistance to their asbestos-mining communities;

3. Calls specifically on the all asbestos-using countries to cease use of asbestos;

4. Urges all countries that have used asbestos to inform their citizens and their healthcare professionals of the hazards of asbestos and to implement safety measures to monitor the health of citizens who are likely to have been exposed at any point in their lives. To facilitate this, an inventory of asbestos already in place is needed, particularly in schools and places where children are present.

*This position draws heavily from Position Statement on Asbestos from the Joint Policy Committee of the Societies of Epidemiology (JPC-SE), approved June 4, 2012

1. http://ibasecretariat.org/chron_ban_list.php

2. Worldwide asbestos supply and consumption trends from 1900 to 2000 Robert L Virta; Geological Survey (U.S.) (Nov 2011)


Asbestos On Broadway- Mesothelioma Preview

A number of years ago the famous actor Steve McQueen died from mesothelioma a form of cancer only caused by exposure to asbestos. At the time there was much speculation about the source of his exposure. Was it the snow that was used as a prop that was really asbestos? Was it the theater curtains he moved around? Several years later I was visiting London with my family and attended a play in the London Theater district. I was fortunate to sit close to the stage. As the band was warming up I noticed what appeared to be asbestos curtains. I knew this from my experience representing mesothelioma victims. So I went for a closer look. Sure enough the tag was still on the curtains indicating they were in fact made from asbestos and manufactured by a company known as Amatex. I thought to myself how primitive. These Brits obviously don’t worry about these things the way we do. The show was great and the people in London could not have been nicer.

This week I learned that there is a case pending in NY City of a person who claims to have developed mesothelioma from theater curtains. My first response was that this must have been a result of exposure to curtains removed long ago. Asbestos curtains must have been removed from Broadway long ago? Well apparently that is not the case. Apparently asbestos curtains will be removed from Broadway in 2011 in accordance with the following schedule:

Schoenfeld Theater – 236 West 45th Street New York, NYJanuary 7 at 10 am.

Music Box Theater – 239 West 45th Street New York, NYJanuary 21 at lO am.

Here is a portion of  the letter from the asbestos defense lawyer:

Now everyone is on notice.

Hmm. Those Americans-how primitive!

Asbestos & Mesothelioma Pioneer Research Doctor Irving Selikoff Testifies in Landmark Case

The dangers of asbestos exposure were known to scientists and industry by the early part of the 20th century. The relationship between asbestos exposure and cancer was known and acknowledged by at least the early 1940s. In the 1950s, Dr. Irving Selikoff began his research at the Mt Sinai School of Medicine. While Dr Seikoff certainly did not discover the dangers of asbestos, he did more than any other human being living or dead to publicize the information on asbestos and disease and as a result changed the landscape of occupational medicine forever.

I had the privilege of getting to know Dr Selikoff personally and was able to proudly call him my friend. I spent may hours with Dr. Selikoff at his home and at his office discussing the need to educate and protect workers and the public from the ravages of asbestos exposure. The last project we worked on together was to obtain funding for molecular biological research on the cause of environmentally induced cancer.

Although Dr. Selikoff is acknowledged at the preeminent expert on asbestos related disease, he avoided working as an expert witness because it took time away from his research. By clicking on the following link you can read the rare testimony provided by Dr. Selikoff in the landmark case of Clause Tomplait.


New York Shipyard Responsible for Mesothelioma

The NY Shipyard in Camden New Jersey was at one time one of the busiest shipyards involved in the construction of navy and merchant ships. the use of asbestos was common place. In the last 6 months alone we filed suit for people diagnosed with mesothelioma. There have been dozens of other mesothelioma cases diagnosed as a result of asbestos exposure at this shipyard.

Asbestos Products List & Mesothelioma

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was used widely in products and industrial settings until it was eventually banned. Once hailed as “wonder mineral”, asbestos was utilized mainly for its durability and resistance to heat, making it a vital component of many manufactured goods, building materials, packaging, gaskets, coatings and friction products.

From 1900 to the 1980s, asbestos was used in more than 3000 products. In addition, more than 30 million tons of the mineral were utilized in schools, power plants, buildings, homes and industrial facilities. Unfortunately, when any of these products become disturbed, they release asbestos fibers which can be inhaled into the body and may eventually cause mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer.

The Environmental Protection Agency deems any item with 1% or more asbestos to be an asbestos-containing product. The following is a list of some of these products.

  • AC&S asbestos products
  • acoustical panels
  • acoustical plaster
  • acoustical tile
  • Acoustone ceiling tiles
  • adhesive
  • Aeroflex
  • Aerogun insulating mix
  • AFJ board
  • air cell pipecovering
  • Aircell
  • Aircell asbestos board
  • Aircell block
  • Aircell board
  • Aircell paper
  • Aircell pipecovering
  • Aircell sheets
  • Aircell zebra pipecover
  • Allbestos
  • Alumi-Shield pipecover
  • Amblerex #2 cement
  • Amblerex finishing cement
  • Antisweat covering
  • Antisweat pipecovering
  • apron
  • aprons
  • Armabestos
  • Armabestos block
  • Armabestos pipecovering
  • Armafil
  • Armaflex
  • Armaflex finish
  • Armaflex pipecovering
  • Armaflex sheets
  • Armaflex tape
  • Armaglas
  • Armaglas fire resistant
  • Armaglas Flex
  • Armalite
  • Armalok
  • Armaspray
  • Armatemp #10 cement
  • Armatemp 85% magnesia
  • Armatemp block
  • Armatemp cement
  • Armatemp pipecovering
  • Armstrong 1/8″ vinal ASBE
  • Armstrong block
  • Armstrong cal sil
  • Armstrong fire resistant
  • Armstrong lagging adhesive
  • Armstrong pipecovering
  • Armstrong products
  • Armstrong woolfelt
  • Arrestone asbestos pads
  • ASB weatherproof jacket
  • Asbestocel
  • Asbestocel corrugated paper
  • Asbeston
  • Asbeston cloth
  • Asbestone panels
  • asbestos
  • asbestos blankets
  • asbestos block
  • asbestos board
  • asbestos boiler wall coat
  • asbestos canvas
  • asbestos cellular pipecover
  • asbestos cement
  • asbestos cement pipe
  • asbestos cloth
  • asbestos cord
  • asbestos corrugated sheets
  • asbestos curtains
  • asbestos felt
  • asbestos fiber
  • asbestos finish cement
  • asbestos finishing cement
  • asbestos flatboard
  • asbestos forms
  • asbestos furnace tape
  • asbestos gaskets
  • asbestos gloves
  • asbestos heat bags
  • asbestos insulating blanket
  • asbestos insulating cement
  • asbestos insulation
  • asbestos lap
  • asbestos micarda
  • asbestos millboard
  • asbestos mineral wool
  • asbestos mittens
  • asbestos packing
  • asbestos panels
  • asbestos paper
  • asbestos paper pipecovering
  • asbestos pipecovering
  • asbestos products/care
  • asbestos rollboard
  • asbestos rope
  • asbestos seals
  • asbestos sheets
  • asbestos sponge block
  • asbestos sponge cover
  • asbestos spray
  • asbestos tape
  • asbestos textile
  • asbestos tiles
  • asbestos weatherproof
  • asbestos wick
  • asbestos yarn
  • asbestos-faced mineral wool
  • asbestospray
  • asphalt
  • Atlasite block
  • Atlasite pipecovering
  • automobile hood liners
  • B&W boiler
  • B-H expansion joint
  • Baldwin-Hill cement
  • Baldwin-Hill products
  • bead board
  • BEH block
  • BEH cement
  • BEH pipecovering
  • BEH products
  • Bestfelt
  • Bestfelt block
  • Bestfelt pipecovering
  • black asbestos
  • blanket
  • block
  • block adhesive
  • block stick
  • Blue Mud cement
  • board
  • boiler
  • boiler coating
  • boiler insulation
  • brake linings
  • Buck Stay cement
  • BW firebrick
  • cables
  • Cafco adhesive
  • Cafco blaze shield
  • Cafco emulsion adhesive
  • Cafco heat shield
  • Cafco patching fiber
  • Cafco powershield
  • Cafco sealer
  • Cafco shield-coat
  • Cafco sound shield
  • Cafco spray
  • calcium silicate
  • calcium silicate block
  • calcium silicate canvas
  • calcium silicate cement
  • calcium silicate cover
  • calcium silicate hangers
  • calcium silicate pipecovering
  • Calcrete30
  • Calsil block
  • Calsilite
  • Calsilite block
  • Calsilite canvas
  • Calsilite insulating cement
  • Calsilite pipecovering
  • Caltemp cement
  • canvas
  • carded asbestos cloth
  • Caretemp block
  • Carey 7M cement
  • Carey all-temp
  • Carey asbestos cement
  • Carey asbestos cloth
  • Carey asbestos felts
  • Carey asbestos insulating ducts
  • Carey asbestos tank jacket
  • Carey block
  • Carey BTU cement
  • Carey calcium silicate block
  • Carey calcium silicate pipecovering
  • Carey Candad asbestos
  • Carey cement
  • Carey corrugated asbestos paper
  • Carey duct adhesive
  • Carey fibrous adhesive
  • Carey fireclad asbestos paper
  • Carey firefoil board
  • Carey firefoil panel
  • Carey fireguard asbestos paper
  • Carey flex board
  • Carey insulating cement
  • Carey insulation duct
  • Carey insulation seal
  • Carey marine panel
  • Carey panel board
  • Carey pipecovering
  • Carey products
  • Carey stone sheathing
  • Carey super-lite pipecovering
  • Carey thermaboard
  • Carey thermalite
  • Carey woolfelt
  • Carey york clock
  • Carey york pipecovering
  • Carey york products
  • Careycell block
  • Careycell pipecovering
  • Careytemp
  • Careytemp adhesive
  • Careytemp block
  • Careytemp block
  • Careytemp cement
  • Careytemp pipecovering
  • Careytemp pipecovering
  • Careytemp pre-molded insulation
  • Castable
  • Castablock
  • CC navy sealer
  • CE cement
  • ceiling tiles
  • Cellotone
  • Celotex products
  • cement
  • Cement insulation
  • Cementboards
  • Cerafelt
  • ceramic tile
  • Chrysotile
  • CI mastic
  • clapboards
  • clay
  • Cleangard
  • cloth
  • clutches
  • CMT-Eagle 20
  • coat
  • coat cement
  • Cominco insulation cement
  • cord
  • cork board
  • cork covering
  • cork mastic
  • cork-filled mastic
  • corrugated asbestos sheets
  • Covergard
  • Crocidolite
  • Cummings insulation
  • Deltamaid hitemp master
  • Deltamaid one-shot cement
  • Detrick bonding cement
  • dry mix joint compound
  • Duplex block
  • Duplex pipecovering
  • Duriseal
  • Eagle insulating cement
  • Eagle pitcher products
  • Ehret 85% magnesia block
  • Ehret 85% magnesia pipecover
  • Ehret asbestos fiber felt
  • Ehret block
  • Ehret pipecovering
  • Ehret products
  • EM cell block
  • EM cell board
  • EM cell pipecovering
  • EM felt covering
  • Empire ace products
  • Empire aircell block
  • emulsions
  • Endless plastic ring style
  • Enduro block
  • Enduro pipecovering
  • Erco products
  • Erhet 85% magnesia block
  • Excel block
  • Excel board
  • Excel pipecovering
  • Excelon tile
  • expansion join
  • fake snow
  • featherweight block
  • featherweight pipecover
  • fiber cement
  • fibreboard products
  • Fibrekote
  • fibrex cement
  • fibrous adhesive
  • finishing cement
  • fire brick
  • fire resistant insulation shield
  • fireproofing cement
  • flameguard
  • Flames Safe pipecovering
  • Flapseal adhesive
  • Flash Tite cement
  • Flexfast adhesive
  • Flexfelt
  • Flexible corner bead
  • flexible duct connectors
  • Flintkote floor tiles
  • floor tiles
  • Flurobestos
  • Franco-therm cement
  • frost proof
  • furnace cement
  • Fyrbestos sheets
  • G. Bond wood fiber paster
  • GAF asbestos felt
  • GAF products
  • Garlock gasketing
  • Garlock products
  • gasket material
  • gaskets
  • Gator tape
  • GE products
  • Generator
  • glassbestos
  • glassblower mitts
  • Glosscell block
  • Glosscell covering
  • gloves
  • Gold Bond adhesive
  • Gold Bond asbestos paper
  • Gold Bond asbestos sheets
  • Gold Bond cement
  • Gold Bond perfo-lyte
  • Gold Bond Plaster
  • Gold Bond products
  • Gold Bond spackle paster
  • Gold bond tar paper
  • goldbestos
  • Griptex mineral wool block
  • Guardian heatguard
  • gunning mix
  • H.K. Porter canvas
  • H.K. Porter products
  • H/2 insulation block
  • hairfelt
  • Heat-seal
  • Heatguard
  • helmet
  • HI mastic
  • HI stick cement
  • HI temp cement
  • high pressure packing
  • High Temp insulating cement
  • Hilite insulating cement
  • Hitemp block
  • Hitemp board
  • Hitemp pipecovering
  • Hou Daille 10 11
  • Hou Daille 1871H
  • Hou Daille 65
  • Hy-temp block
  • Hy-temp cement
  • Hy-temp pipecovering
  • Hylo block
  • Hylo cement
  • Hylo pipecovering
  • industrial A-C board
  • Insubestos felt strips
  • Insubestos felt type A
  • Insubestos felt type B
  • insulating block
  • insulating cement
  • insulating contractor
  • insulating felt
  • insulation
  • insulation blanket
  • insulation board
  • insulation coating
  • insulation jacket FAB
  • Insulbestos felt
  • Insulkote SG
  • Insulkote-coating
  • Insulmastic
  • Insulseal
  • Insulstick
  • Insultape insulation
  • J Spray
  • J-M asbestos canvas
  • J-M asbestos cloth
  • J-M asbestos gasketing
  • J-M block
  • J-M cement
  • J-M finishing cement
  • J-M pipecovering
  • J-M products
  • J-M products distributed by CE
  • J-M transite pipecover
  • Jcafco products
  • JM 301 cement
  • joint compounds
  • joint compounds
  • JPS asbestos cloth
  • K & M block
  • K & M finishing cement
  • K & M Kaytherm 1700
  • K & M pipecovering
  • Kaiser mineral wool block
  • Kalite
  • Karnak mastic
  • Kaylo block
  • Kaylo block insulation
  • Kaylo canvas
  • Kaylo pipe insulation
  • Kaylo pipecovering
  • Kaytherm block
  • Kaytherm block insulation
  • Kaytherm cement
  • Kaytherm pipe insulation
  • Kaytherm pipecovering
  • Keasby cement
  • Keasby products
  • Keene asbestos products
  • Keene block
  • Keene pipecovering
  • Keene woodfelt
  • Krack-pruf insulation
  • lagging adhesive
  • lagging cloth
  • lagging tape
  • lagtone
  • lap seal
  • leggings
  • limpet spray
  • limpet spray asbestos
  • Litecase 30 S
  • LK block
  • LK pipecovering
  • LK-12 calciom silicate
  • LK12 calcium silicate
  • LT block
  • LT pipecovering
  • LT sealer
  • Magnesia block
  • Magnesia cement
  • Magnesia covering
  • Magnesia insulating cement
  • Magnesia pipecovering
  • Marinite insulating panel
  • masonry fill
  • mastic
  • mastic adhesives
  • metal mesh blanket
  • Micabestos
  • Micarda plate and tube
  • millboard
  • Mills boiler
  • mineral wool
  • mineral wool blankets
  • mineral wool blocks
  • mineral wool insulating cement
  • mittens
  • mitts
  • molded cork pipecovering
  • Mono-ply insulating cement
  • Monoblock
  • Monofoam
  • Monokote
  • Monoplast
  • Monospray
  • mortat mix
  • Multiply block
  • Multiply pipecovering
  • Mundet asbestos cement
  • Mundet pipecovering
  • Mundet products
  • Mundetblock
  • Mundetcork
  • N-1200 block
  • National gypsum board
  • National gypsum sheetrock
  • Navy sealer
  • Navy standard hairfelt
  • Newtherm pipecovering
  • NG Asbestos millboard
  • Nicolet pipecovering
  • Nicolet/Keasby products
  • non-sweat pipe covering
  • non-sweat pipe insulation
  • Novabestos
  • Novatex
  • Nsulkote
  • nuclear reactor w/comp
  • OCF asbestos cloth
  • OCF products
  • one coat cement
  • one coat cement
  • one coat finishing cement
  • one coat insulating cement
  • Osnaburg
  • Owens-Corning 660 cement
  • Owens-Corning asbestos cement
  • Pabco
  • Pabco block
  • Pabco caltemp pipecover
  • Pabco F-1 hydraulic cement
  • Pabco pipecovering
  • Pabco super caltemp block
  • packing
  • packing material
  • paint
  • paper
  • paper tape
  • patching plaster
  • Perf-a-tape
  • Perlite
  • Perltex spray surface
  • Perltex super 40
  • Permaboard
  • Permiseal
  • Philip Carey products
  • pipe insulation
  • pipecovering
  • Pitcote
  • Pittsburgh Corning products
  • Pittwrat
  • plaster
  • plasticork
  • Plibrico cement
  • Plicaste cement
  • Plisulate cement
  • Polybestos cloth
  • Pork chop boiler
  • Porterlag
  • Portersite
  • Powerhouse cement
  • Prasco pipecovering
  • preformed pipe wrap
  • pumps
  • pumps and packing
  • pumps with packing
  • putty
  • Pyrobar blocks
  • Pyrokure
  • Pyrokure paper
  • Pyrokure tape
  • Pyroscat fireproofing
  • Pyrospray
  • Pyrotex
  • quick treat compound
  • quick-setting joint compound
  • quickset cement
  • R & I block
  • R & I unsulating cement
  • Racko asbestos cement
  • railroad asbestos
  • railroad electrical arc chutes
  • range boiler jacket
  • raw asbestos
  • raw asbestos fiber
  • Raybestos amosite blanket
  • Raymark brake linings
  • Raymark products
  • ready mix joint compound
  • Red Top plaster
  • Red Top products
  • refractory cements
  • regular pipecovering
  • Rexalt
  • Rhinoestos cloth
  • Riley Stoker asbestos products
  • Rockwool asbestos blanket
  • Rockwool asbestos blanket
  • Rockwool blanket
  • Rockwool block
  • Rockwool insulation cement
  • rollboard
  • roofing felt
  • roofing paper
  • roofing product
  • rope
  • rope packing
  • roughing cement
  • Ruberoid block
  • Ruberoid calsilite
  • Ruberoid cement
  • Ruberoid hi-temp cement
  • Ruberoid pipecovering
  • S&K ranger boiler jacket
  • Safekote cement
  • Salmo glazed aircell
  • Seal fast adhesive
  • sealer
  • sheet packing
  • sheet rope
  • sheetrock
  • sheets
  • shingles
  • silicate calsilite
  • Silvabestos cloth
  • sleeves
  • Smith & Kanzler products
  • Sniper 3000 cement
  • spackle
  • Sparkfast adhesive
  • Speedlag
  • Splicegard
  • sponge felt
  • spray fireproofing
  • spun felt
  • Stalastic
  • steam generator
  • Stic-Tite cement
  • Stic-Tite finishing cement
  • Stik-Tab cement
  • stone corrugated sheets
  • Super “66″ insulating cement
  • Super 48 cement
  • Super 711
  • Super D blockinsulate
  • Super finish cement
  • Super finish stic-tite cement
  • Super high temp cement
  • Super insulation tape
  • Super light block
  • Super powerhouse cement
  • Super stic-tite cement
  • Super-light cement
  • Super48 insulating cement
  • Superex block insulation
  • Superex pipe covering
  • Superseal packing
  • Supertemp blocking
  • supplied/distributed ASBE
  • supplied/distributed PRO
  • supplier
  • T/NA insulation jacket
  • tape
  • tar paper
  • temp check block
  • temp check pipecovering
  • terra lite
  • Terrybestos
  • Themobestos metalon P/C
  • Therm Block
  • Therma-K block
  • Therma-K pipecovering
  • Thermabestos block
  • Thermabestos cement
  • Thermaguard
  • Thermaguard asbestos cloth
  • Thermalcoat
  • Thermasil
  • Thermasil block
  • Thermasil cement
  • Thermasil pipecovering
  • Thermasil-general
  • Thermo 12
  • Thermo 12 pipecovering
  • Thermo pipecovering
  • Thermobestos
  • Thermobestos pipecover
  • Thermoblock
  • Thermokote
  • Thermolite
  • Thermon heat cement
  • Thermotex B
  • Thermotex B (paper)
  • Thermotex B weatherpro
  • thin set materials
  • Titegrip cement
  • Transite board
  • Transite pipe asbestos
  • Tri-bestos
  • Tri-calite block insulation
  • troweled coating
  • turbines
  • turbines with ancill insulation
  • U.S. gypsum spray
  • Unarco amocel pipecover
  • Unarco board
  • Unarco cloth
  • Unarco insulating cement
  • Unarco mineral wool
  • Unarco products
  • Unibestos
  • Unibestos block
  • Unibestos pipecovering
  • Unibestos products/distribution
  • USG aircell pipecover
  • USG hairfelt pipecover
  • USG woolfelt pipecover
  • Util thermal finish cement
  • V-Dent pipe insulation
  • valve rings
  • valve stem packing style
  • valves
  • valves and packing
  • various JM products
  • Vee block mix (relabel)
  • Vermont asbestos
  • Versakote
  • vinyl gypsum adhesive
  • vinyl wallpaper
  • Vitricel asbestos sheet
  • Vitricel cement
  • wallboard
  • water tube boiler
  • waterproofing
  • Weathercote asphalt CM
  • Weatherkote
  • Weatherseal
  • weld-on cement
  • welding rods
  • white loose wool
  • white surface cement
  • white-cement
  • wick
  • wire mesh blanket
  • wires
  • Woolfe LT pipecovering
  • Woolfelt block
  • Woolfelt covering
  • Wovenstone
  • yarn
  • yellow insulation
  • Zono plaster aggregate
  • Zono-coustic
  • Zonolite acoustic plaster
  • Zonolite asbestos
  • Zonolite cement
  • Zonolite decorators
  • Zonolite dry cement
  • Zonolite high temp
  • Zonolite mono-cote F.P.
  • Zonolite plaster
  • Zonolite spra-tex
  • Zonolite spray insulation

How were workers exposed to asbestos at Chevron:Read here

In this deposition we recently took Chevron admits that it did not  stop using asbestos in its Perth Amboy refinery until 1972,  more than 3 decades after learning that asbestos could kill. According to this witness there was more than 12 miles of asbestos on the piping alone in the Perth Amboy. This had the capacity to cause massive exposure to anyone in the area where asbestos was installed or removed. See http://www.mesotheliomalegalblog.com/mesothelioma-litigation/Despite-Knowledge-Chevron-Uses-Asbestos-Causing-Massive-Exposure–1-32495.html

Robert A Keasbey Company and Asbestos Exposure

While settlements with individual defendants are often confidential, the total settlement in a given case may not be. Accordingly, please see the attached listing of recent settlements and verdicts

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