brakes that contain asbestos

Asbestos in Auto Repairs

An auto mechanic is not an easy job, these people can have accidents like slipping and falling due to spilled oil. At often times they even get cuts and bruises from the tools, and in worse cases they can be exposed to Asbestos from replacing car parts.

Asbestos is a mineral that is made up of fine durable fibers and are resistant to heat and many other chemicals. Exposure to asbestos can be directly linked to a number of lung and respiratory illness such as mesothelioma which is a form of cancer.

The location and Parts where you would usually find Asbestos

Auto parts such as brakes, clutches and heat seals are very likely to contain asbestos because of its heat-resistant qualities. When these parts start to break or disintegrate, the asbestos escapes into the air and onto the mechanics.

Here is where mechanics usually tend to take care of when replacing these parts:

  • Hoodliners – Automotive hood liners are usually constructed from asbestos fibers. This may be easy to replace but it still requires caution because of the asbestos minerals once you start replacing it.
  • Brakes – when mechanics perform brake repairs, it is usually because the brakes linings are worn down through friction. Asbestos would usually be found in the brake housing, it should be opened with caution and the appropriate gear for protection.
  • Clutches – clutch repairs is no different from brake repairs, when the disc or the clutch cover is removed that is where most of the asbestos dust particles will come out in the open.
  • Gasket Material, heat seals, and valve rings – these parts are used in almost everything that is involved with the transport fluids or the gas. Some automobile exhaust system can also contain asbestos in either the gasket or along the exhaust pipes.

Safety Measures to reduce Asbestos Exposure

Even if you are aware of the parts that may contain asbestos safety precautions should always be your top priority when replacing any part of the car.

  • Vacuum System Method – This kind is a kind of enclosure where the vacuum system features a special box which has clear plastic walls or even glass windows. This box is the fit tightly around the brake or clutch assembly of the car to prevent asbestos from just randomly flying around and keeping it contained.
  • Wet Cleaning Method and low pressure sprays – Low pressure spray equipments usually wets the brake assembly and catches the asbestos by keeping it wet and not being able to float around. Underneath the cluth or brake assembly you’ll have a special basin to keep the asbestos contained while it drops out.
  • Wet Wipe Method – This is a simple method and only uses a spray bottle that can spray a considerable amount of water at a low pressure to wet the brake and clutch parts. Once the parts are wet you can wipe the part with a cloth to get rid of the asbestos.

In conclusion, you can still replace your own brakes or clutches at home but always have protection or safety measurements available before proceeding.

For some it may be easy to replace these parts but in the end, it is still advisable to just get your auto repairs done by professional mechanics.



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