Railroad workers are exposed to many harmful substances at work but few have affected so many as asbestos. Asbestos has been widely used by railroads in many forms, including as insulation on steam and diesel locomotives. Railroad repair shops and buildings frequently contained many types of asbestos products. Steam engines were covered from end to end with asbestos insulation. The engine rooms of diesel engines contained asbestos pipe covering on many parts of the engine. Many diesel engines had steam generators that were covered with asbestos that engineers were exposed to. It has been used in boiler insulation, steam generators, pipe covering, cabooses, gaskets, electrical panels, wallboard, plaster and brake shoes, just to name a few. As a result, many railroad workers may have been exposed to this toxic and carcinogenic substance and not even known it. Some even brought it home on their work cloths exposing family members who handled their laundry.
Read Full Document By Willard J. Moody, Jr. (IBEW FELA Designated Legal Counsel)