Asbestos In The Automotive Industry

By | August 27, 2017

Construction is widely regarded as the main industry that is being affected by asbestos exposure. Asbestos is widely used in residential and commercial real estate construction in the 1980s until its ban in Australia, also Perth, in 2003. But the vehicle industry also sees many asbestos-related diseases among its workers.

Asbestos In The Automotive Industry

One such case is former mechanical engineer, David Ward, who in 2014 was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. This is a very aggressive form of lung cancer caused by continuous asbestos exposure.

Mr. Ward’s occupation in a factory that used asbestos in the 1960s could be the only cause of the disease, but having also worked as a mechanic for the rest of his life, the danger he exposed to, was be also magnified.

How is asbestos used in the automotive industry?

Asbestos produced the friction needed in the brake lining and other car parts, including clutches and gaskets. The quality of insulation and the ability to prevent heat transfer also made it the ideal material for vehicle production in the 1960s and 1970s, but the danger remained hidden or unknown.

Products that may contain asbestos:

  • Hoodliners
  • Gaskets
  • Brakes
  • Clutches
  • Heat seals
  • Packing
  • Valve rings
  • Body construction
  • Engine components
  • Automobile undercoating
  • Insulation
  • Car batteries
  • Other parts


Mechanics who are working with these parts of the vehicle were regularly exposed to asbestos. They also need to do a very dangerous practice in automotive workshops, which is to force dust out of brakes drums with air hose.

This practice will contaminate the air consistently, potentially creating a fatal disease in those who work there and forced to inhale the dust. Smoothing or sanding down the brake lining is a hazard to mechanics, releasing more dust and fibers from the asbestos inside.

One of the problems in which powder and fiber are released is they will be in the air for several hours. The use of air ducts to remove dust from brake drums also spread dust around rooms or buildings, potentially jeopardizing other staff members. Even worker clothing is contaminated, which puts their families at risk when returning home. 

Is asbestos still a danger in this industry?

The use of, Australia since 2003 and is no longer a problem for cars manufactured since 2004. However, the dangers remain in older vehicles, with many classic cars potentially holding up parts containing asbestos.

This is one of the reasons why asbestos awareness training is so important to any worker who may encounter substance during normal work pathways. It helps identify products that contain asbestos and to understand why precautions should be taken to protect themselves and others.

Owners of classic car repairs may also be at high risk of exposure to asbestos, especially since they generally do not use the professional tools available in the workshop.

Cars imported from abroad may be a problem with the use of asbestos, especially if there is no indication of where it came from. This has caused significant problems in 2012, when cars produced in China are imported into Australia. Customs officials found parts containing asbestos, resulting in the recall of 23,000 cars.

How to prevent asbestos exposure?

To make sure that you are safe from asbestos exposure, you should get the material you are suspected of containing asbestos be tested. You should hire a professional asbestos removal in Perth to conduct the asbestos testing. The professional will get the suspected material be tested in an accredited laboratory. Then, the pro can tell you whether that certain material contains asbestos or not.

If the material contains asbestos, then you should call a professional asbestos removal expert to determine the best action to avoid the exposure danger. The professional can tell you whether it is better to leave the material alone or remove it. By calling a professional asbestos removal company in Perth, you can prevent the danger of asbestos exposure.


Among the many industries that are well known for the heavy use of asbestos is the automotive industry. Asbestos is found in bearings, clutches, gaskets, internal combustion components and hundreds of other car components. Asbestos has the unique ability to isolate and prevent heat transfer, making it ideal for use in a number of automotive applications centered on internal combustion engines and friction brakes. Even though asbestos has been banned in Australia since 2003, there are still possibilities that the car you use is imported from other countries, which means they are not safe from asbestos. To ensure that you are safe from asbestos exposure, call a professional to check for asbestos.

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