Transmission Plates

Asbestos in Transmission Plates and Other Automotive Products

Transmission plates are more accurately known as "clutch plates." These are the friction products that when engaged, allow the rotational motion of the engine to be transferred to the drive shaft and ultimately, the wheels.

Asbestos has been a common part of automotive construction and repair almost since the beginning of the automotive industry. Because of the high amounts of heat generated by brakes, engines and transmissions, the use of asbestos was seen as necessary to protect both the operator and the equipment from fire and high heat.

Automotive workers should be cautious about working around transmissions, clutch plates and brakes; owners of auto repair facilities are now required, under most state labor laws, to provide appropriate safety equipment for servicing these components in automobiles.

Transmission Plates Products Containing Asbestos

The following partial list of transmission plates products were known to contain asbestos:

Product Name Start Year End Year
Raymark Automatic Transmission Plates

Hazards Associated with Transmission Plate Products

Not surprisingly, auto mechanics and even auto assembly workers have historically experienced elevated rates of asbestos diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and asbestos lung cancer. As late as the early 1990s, asbestos was found in components on vehicles built by the Ford Motor Company. As recently as the turn of the present century, large amounts of asbestos fiber was present in dust samples taken from auto repair facilities across the country.


View Sources

Sources

Bowker, Michael. Fatal Deception: The Untold Story of Asbestos (New York: Touchstone, 2003)

Schneider, Andrew and Carol Smith. "Nation's Mechanics At Risk From Asbestos." Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 16 November 2000.

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog

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July 28, 2016
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Asbestos in Older Homes

“Asbestos has been used for thousands of years in textiles and construction, due to its impressive resistance to heat, fire and moisture. Then, in the late 1800s, it became common to use asbestos in housing, as insulation, floor tiles, and other products. These practices continued into the 1980s, and such homes are still standing today. For those considering purchasing or renovating a house built before 1990, there is always the risk of asbestos in various parts of the home. Though usually innocuous if left undisturbed, when doing renovations it is important to know what to look for, and how to safely deal with any asbestos found in the process.”