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Railroad Workers and Asbestos

Railroad workers, especially those who worked throughout the 20th century, were exposed to asbestos and are at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease. Prior to the 1980s, asbestos was used for decades in the manufacturing of parts on trains and locomotives. It was common practice for workers to sand, cut or smooth products with asbestos-containing materials.


Asbestos was used in different things on trains such as brake pads, clutches and brake linings because it helped to resist heat and friction, which is ideal when it comes to trains, which are so fast moving. Over time, these components will break down, releasing asbestos fibers into the air, which are in turn inhaled by surrounding workers. Additionally, asbestos was used in wallboards and floor tiles in public driving cabins so yardmasters and conductors were at risk of exposure if these products became weathered after use over time. Maintenance workers faced the greatest risk of exposure.

Asbestos-containing products used by railroad workers include cement ties that keep rail lines in place, gaskets, ash trays and coasters, ceiling tiles, floor tiles, boilers, fireboxes, insulation, paint, plaster, rope, sealing cement and wallboards. Many railroad companies have been sued by people throughout the years.


People who worked in the railroad industry before the transition from steam- to diesel- powered locomotives are at a high risk of continuous exposure. Based on studies, older workers who were still employed when a 1987 study took place, were at a higher risk of exposure than the younger workers. This study concluded that out of 514 employees actively working at a US railroad at the time, 21 percent of the workers who were 50 years old or older were likely exposed to asbestos, while 3 percent of the workers 49 or younger were likely exposed to asbestos.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, call the Halpern Law Firm at (800) 505-6000 today for a free case evaluation. We have won over $100 million for our clients and have over 30 years of experience working on these cases. For more information, fill out our form or call today.


Written By Sadie Gold

Don’t Wait—Contact an Experienced Pennsylvania Mesothelioma Attorney Today!

Now that you know the mesothelioma statute of limitations in Pennsylvania, contact an experienced attorney from our firm to represent your case before time runs out.

At Halpern Law Firm, we help clients throughout Pennsylvania, with offices in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Scranton and Johnstown. Call us today for a free consultation at (800) 505-6000.

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Anmol Rajdev


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