Plumbers, Pipefitters and Mesothelioma

Many occupations have an increased risk of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, including plumbers and pipefitters. These workers may have been exposed to asbestos in pipes, insulation and other materials, particularly if they worked before the mid-1980s when regulation and safety protocols increased.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s important to find an experienced mesothelioma lawyer for plumbers and pipefitters to help you secure the compensation you deserve.

Occupational Asbestos Exposure for Plumbers & Pipefitters

pipefitter adds insulation to pipes in wall

Plumbers and pipefitters are at a high risk of asbestos exposure while performing their job duties. In fact, the link between pipefitters, plumbers and mesothelioma has been proven with medical research.

One study found pleural thickening, a symptom of the most common type of mesothelioma, in more than 26% of plumbers and pipefitters,1 a much higher rate than the general population. A more recent study found pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters had the third-highest incidence of mesothelioma by occupation, after only insulation workers and chemical technicians.2

Workers can be exposed to asbestos if fibers become airborne and are inhaled. Once in the lungs, these fibers can cause numerous asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma. Any of the following common activities for plumbers and pipefitters could disturb asbestos fibers and lead to exposure:

  • Cutting into drywall or cement to access pipes
  • Cutting or sanding pipes
  • Handling or removing pipe insulation
  • Installing or removing valves, gaskets and other parts
  • Maintaining boilers and tanks
  • Mixing or applying joint compounds and sealants

Mesothelioma lawyers for plumbers and pipefitters also work with families who were exposed to secondhand asbestos. This happens when a loved one has asbestos fibers on their clothes, shoes or hair, and unknowingly brings it home where others might breathe it in.

Asbestos Products Used by Plumbers & Pipefitters

Asbestos was widely used in building materials up until the mid-1980s because it provided excellent heat resistance and insulation. Pipefitters and plumbers may encounter asbestos in pipes and many other parts of a building. Pipefitters and plumbers with mesothelioma could have been exposed by working with, removing or cutting into any of the following asbestos products:

  • Boilers
  • Adhesives
  • Caulk
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Cement pipes
  • Drywall
  • Fireproofing materials
  • Gaskets
  • Incinerators
  • Joint compound
  • Pipe fittings and flanges
  • Pipe insulation
  • Pumps
  • Sealants
  • Tank insulation
  • Thermal pipe insulation
  • Valves
  • Wiring insulation

In addition, pipefitters and plumbers working in a construction environment could have been exposed simply by being on a job. Asbestos fibers released from paint, floor tiles, roofing materials, HVAC ducts and more can remain in the air for long periods of time on a worksite.

Compensation for Plumbers & Pipefitters With Mesothelioma

If you or a loved one has received a mesothelioma diagnosis, you may be able to pursue legal compensation to help manage your medical costs and provide financial security for your family. A mesothelioma lawyer for plumbers and pipefitters, like Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney and Meisenkothen (ELSM), can help you evaluate all of your options.

Asbestos Trust Funds

As the dangers of asbestos became more well-known, many asbestos companies declared bankruptcy due to rising legal costs. They established mesothelioma trust funds to compensate victims of asbestos exposure due to their products.

Plumbers and pipefitters diagnosed with mesothelioma can file claims to receive a payout to help with medical expenses and lost income. The lawyers at ELSM can help you determine which trust fund applies to your case and file a claim.

Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Mesothelioma lawsuits offer another way to secure compensation. Plumbers and pipefitters can file personal injury lawsuits against manufacturers who failed to protect them from asbestos exposure.

Successful lawsuits can result in large settlements or verdicts, providing funds for medical care, lost wages and other related expenses. Choosing a mesothelioma lawyer for plumbers and pipefitters who gets results is key. In one of our cases, ELSM negotiated a $13.5 million settlement for a plumber.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers' compensation is a state-regulated program providing benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. This can include those who work in occupations with asbestos exposure risk. Pipefitters and plumbers with mesothelioma can file workers' compensation claims to cover medical bills and a portion of lost wages. ELSM is happy to help our clients explore all of their available compensation options.

Mesothelioma Lawyers for Plumbers & Pipefitters

Plumbing and pipefitting are two occupations with a proven link to a high occurrence of mesothelioma. If you’ve been diagnosed with this life-changing illness, you’ll need understanding and support to navigate what comes next. Having an attorney on your side who is experienced with the various options for mesothelioma compensation can make all the difference.

The best mesothelioma lawyers for plumbers and pipefitters truly understand your occupation and your case. They know how to get you the compensation you deserve, from filing claims with asbestos trust funds and workers' compensation to pursuing lawsuits. When you work with a knowledgeable mesothelioma law firm like ELSM, you can focus on what matters while we get to work on behalf of you and your family.

If you've received a mesothelioma diagnosis after working as a plumber or pipefitter, contact us today for a free case evaluation.


Are Plumbers at Risk for Asbestos-Related Cancer or Other Illness?

Yes, plumbers are at significant risk for asbestos-related cancers, including mesothelioma, and other illnesses such as asbestosis and lung cancer. This risk arises from inhalation of asbestos fibers while performing their job duties. Once they enter the body, the fibers can become stuck and can lead to serious health conditions.

How Are Plumbers and Pipefitters Exposed to Asbestos?

Plumbers and pipefitters could be exposed to asbestos by cutting or sanding asbestos-insulated pipes, removing old insulation and working with asbestos-containing joint compounds and sealants. Renovation or demolition work in older buildings, where asbestos materials are common, may also release hazardous fibers into the air, posing serious health risks when inhaled.


  1. Sprince, N.L., Oliver, L.C., and McLoud T.C. J Occup Med. Oct 1985, 27(10):771–5. PMID:3877801
  2. Mazurek, J.M., Syamlal, G., et al. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. March 2017, 66(8):214–218. doi:

Request a Free Case Evaluation

Request a free case evaluation now if you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. The evaluation will cost you nothing. Our lawyers will travel to visit you at your convenience or conference call with you over the phone. We understand how difficult a time this is for you and will assist in any way that we can. You can also call us toll-free at 1-800-336-0086 at any time.