Asbestos screening and education programs for building and construction trades unions

Am J Ind Med. 1993 Jan;23(1):143-52. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700230120.


Worker notification involves informing current and past employees of their risk of disease. It also involves suggesting ways to reduce their risks. The asbestos screening and education programs designed for the building and construction trades unions were a national multisite effort that focused on improving the health of eligible union members and retirees at high risk of developing asbestos-related disease. The asbestos screening and education programs were made available to "high-risk," asbestos-exposed local union members through the efforts of a number of international unions, including the International Union of Elevator Constructors and the Laborers' International Union of North America--both affiliates of the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO. Consultation and program assistance in developing and implementing these programs were provided by the Occupational Health Foundation, a labor-sponsored, nonprofit organization with a multidisciplinary safety and health staff. Program components included identification of "high-risk" individuals, notification of risk, education, medical screening, legal referral, and various support services. Community-based physicians and/or physician-staffed mobile testing units provided services on a contractual basis according to a standardized medical protocol. Between 1988 and 1991, 2,136 union members and retirees from 89 local unions affiliated with the Elevator Constructors or the Laborers were screened in 59 regional programs. A general description and historical perspective are offered concerning program implementation, integration into existing union infrastructures. Emphasis is placed on the role of the unions in advancing members' interests when dealing with the health and socioeconomic implications of asbestos-related disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asbestos*
  • Asbestosis / prevention & control
  • Communication
  • Health Education*
  • Humans
  • Labor Unions*
  • Mass Screening
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Risk


  • Asbestos