What You Could Be Exposed to When Working on a Car


Working on a car can be a great way to relax, fix problems, and restore it. There’s no reason you have to pay a professional mechanic when you know what it is that you’re doing. However, you have to know what you’re doing – and you have to be aware of all that you can be exposed to when working.

Did you know that older cars, such as those built in the 1960s and 1970s, may have lead paint? When you see rust and flaking paint, that’s when you really have to worry. If the car has been painted a few times, some of the older, lead-based paint may still be present. You may find it at the points of rust, along with the wheel wells, and in other areas.

The last thing you want to deal with is lead poisoning just because you didn’t realize some of the dangers. When you do have an older car, it’s best to be aware – and call in a professional when it’s necessary.

Did you know that some auto parts may contain asbestos? While many car manufacturers have done away with asbestos-based parts, it is still legal for them to be sold in the United States. Brake components are the ones most likely to contain this kind of material. It’s not too much of an issue unless the parts are old – and if asbestos becomes airborne, you have to worry about the fibers building in your lungs.

The Mesothelioma Cancer Network discusses the resources having to do with lung cancer caused by asbestos. By knowing the dangers, you can take the necessary actions to avoid exposure. And if you have been exposed, you can figure out what you’ll need to do next.

There are other issues that may be present when you work on a car, too. Rust can make it harder to not only paint but also loosen certain components. If you find that you can’t remove a lug nut because of rust, you may find that you have to make cuts – and then weld new components to be able to compensate for anything you may have had to cut away.

Knowing about all of the issues present with a car will make it easier for you to know how to prepare yourself. If the car is older, what was it exposed to in its history? Do you have to worry about mold and mildew in the interior because of water damage? Do you have to worry about exposed wiring or anything because of too many DIY mechanics in the past?

If you are thinking about buying an older car, be sure that it’s fully inspected first. If you already have a car and enjoy tinkering on it, be sure you know how to deal with certain issues – like the presence of lead, asbestos, or bad wiring. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s best to hire a professional. There’s no use risking your health just to have a fun hobby or to save a few bucks.

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