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Asbestos Brake Pad

Brake pads were previously manufactured with asbestos, a substance that can cause cancers like mesothelioma. Read this guide to learn why brake pads contain asbestos, if brake pads have asbestos, and what to do if you have developed mesothelioma from using asbestos brakes. 

Asbestos has been a known carcinogen or cancer-causing substance since the early 20th century. However, auto manufacturers continued creating brake pads with asbestos until the 2010s, when multiple automotive associations signed the Copper-Free Brake Initiative. The Lanier Law Firm can help you obtain financial compensation if you have developed mesothelioma after using asbestos brake pads.

Asbestos has been a known cancer-causing substance (carcinogen) since the early 20th century. However, auto manufacturers continued using asbestos in brake pads up until the 2010s. As a result, many people have developed asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma. This devastating illness can be terminal, and a diagnosis can have huge repercussions for both the diagnosed patient and their family. 

If you or a loved one have developed mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure, The Lanier Law Firm’s asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers are here to help. Tenacious, knowledgeable, and compassionate, our attorneys will thoroughly analyze your case and fight to hold auto manufacturers accountable. Schedule a free consultation with us to learn more about your options. 

Why Was Asbestos Used in Brake Pads?

The brake lining in vehicles is constantly subjected to friction and heat. As a result, manufacturers used asbestos fibers to strengthen brakes from the early 1900s to the 2010s. They used asbestos to create brake pads for cars, buses, and trucks as well as other devices, including:

  • Civilian and military airplanes
  • Fright cars and railroad locomotives
  • Heavy equipment like rock trucks, excavators, and dozers
  • Anchor and propeller systems
  • Hoist devices and cranes

New York Times report showed that many asbestos industry leaders knew asbestos was unsafe by 1935. However, manufacturers continued using asbestos to create brake systems due to asbestos’ affordability until the 2010s.

Is Asbestos Still Used in Brake Pads?

Asbestos is no longer used to manufacture brake pads created in the U.S. 

In 2010, Washington and California passed legislation requiring brake pads installed or sold in these states to have no more than 5 percent of copper and no more than 0.1 percent by weight of asbestos, lead, chromium, cadmium, or mercury. Five years later, multiple automotive associations signed the Copper-Free Brake Initiative, a voluntary memorandum of understanding with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Environmental Council of the States that extended the California and Washington standards nationwide.

However, many cars still use asbestos-containing brake parts from countries without asbestos bans, such as China and India. Additionally, older vehicles may still use asbestos-containing brakes.

Break pad

How Did Asbestos Brake Pads Expose People to Asbestos?

Asbestos-containing brakes are relatively safe when they are inert or still.

Unfortunately, they become dangerous when they start moving or become old. When brakes move, brake pads can dislodge tiny asbestos particles, which become trapped in the brake housings and surrounding areas. The fibers discharge into the atmosphere when auto workers:

  • Open the housing to adjust or replace brakes and clutches
  • Remove a wheel, brake disk, clutch cover, or drum from a car, truck, or other equipment

These fibers can enter the lungs, resulting in incurable cancers like mesothelioma.

Occupations Affected by Asbestos-Containing Brakes

Anyone who works with asbestos-containing brakes may develop mesothelioma and other conditions caused by asbestos exposure. These include:

  • Auto mechanics
  • Do-it-yourself home mechanics and hobbyists
  • Machinery repair shop workers
  • Others who work with cars
mechanic fitting break pad

Companies That Manufactured Brake Pads With Asbestos

Many companies manufactured brake pads with asbestos, including:

  • Johns Manville
  • Ferodo
  • Raybestos/Raymark Industries, Inc.
  • Union Tank Car Company
  • Montgomery Ward & Co.
  • Kelsey-Hayes Company
  • North American Rockwell Corporation
  • Caterpillar Inc.
  • Arnold Industries
  • John Deere Industrial Equipment Company
  • Allied Signal, Inc./Bendix Corporation
  • Ford Motor Company 

File for Brake Pad Asbestos Exposure Compensation

Asbestos is a carcinogen found in many products, including old and imported brakes. If auto workers work on cars with brakes that contain asbestos, they run the risk of exposing themselves to asbestos. Over time, asbestos exposure can lead to the development of fatal illnesses like mesothelioma.

If you or a loved one have developed mesothelioma as a result of manufacturing or maintaining vehicles with asbestos-containing brakes, contact The Lanier Law Firm today. Founded by Mark Lanier, The Lanier Law Firm is dedicated to helping victims of asbestos exposure. We have recovered billions in compensation for our clients and their asbestos-related conditions.

Contact us to schedule a free consultation today

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