Furnaces insulated with asbestos cement needed to be cleaned and parts wrapped in asbestos blankets required replacement. During this process, the particles of asbestos were disturbed becoming airborne.
In the military, HVAC mechanics served under the rating of heating and cooling mechanics, being in charge of maintaining and repairing the systems which were keeping their surroundings at a comfortable temperature. They were responsible for making sure every room at their base was functioning correctly and providing technical and mechanical services concerning heating, cooling, and other related systems. Heating and cooling mechanics would also install, operate, and perform inspections, testing, troubleshooting, and repairs on malfunctioning systems, supervise and provide guidance to subordinates and perform maintenance and quality control functions to ensure compliance with the safety and environmental regulations. Asbestos exposure was heavy in HVAC mechanics who worked in the military, since pipes and ducts were insulated with asbestos and, inevitably, when they would perform maintenance and repair, the toxic mineral would be disturbed.
Relevant job titles
- air conditioning mechanic
- heat systems installer & repairman
- installer refrigeration/HVAC equipment
- HVAC installer
- HVAC apprentice
- HVAC control technician
- HVAC helper
- HVAC maintenance worker
- HVAC technician
- heating and cooling mechanics
- heating system specialist plant operator
The companies that exposed HVAC mechanics to asbestos during the last century are the following: