These devices usually incorporated asbestos-containing gaskets and packing. In the case of pumps that moved acidic or corrosive substances, their gasketing materials contained some of the highest concentration of asbestos found in these types of products.
There were two main phases of asbestos exposure regarding pumps: installing a new gasket, and trying to remove a worn out one. Installing it required properly fitting the gasket by cutting and sanding it. Trying to remove a deteriorated one would usually mean entering into contact with friable asbestos, and scrapping it would result in toxic dust being released around the worker. You could have been exposed if: