Scientifically Reviewed By:
Written By:
Last Modified June 10, 2021
This page features 10 Cited Research Articles
Fact Checked
Our fact-checking process begins with a thorough review of all sources to ensure they are high quality. Then we cross-check the facts with original medical or scientific reports published by those sources, or we validate the facts with reputable news organizations, medical and scientific experts and other health experts. Each page includes all sources for full transparency.
Reviewed is the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource

The Mesothelioma Center at has provided patients and their loved ones the most updated and reliable information on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure since 2006.

Our team of Patient Advocates includes a medical doctor, a registered nurse, health services administrators, veterans, VA-accredited Claims Agents, an oncology patient navigator and hospice care expert. Their combined expertise means we help any mesothelioma patient or loved one through every step of their cancer journey.

More than 30 contributors, including mesothelioma doctors, survivors, health care professionals and other experts, have peer-reviewed our website and written unique research-driven articles to ensure you get the highest-quality medical and health information.

About The Mesothelioma Center at

  • Assisting mesothelioma patients and their loved ones since 2006.
  • Helps more than 50% of mesothelioma patients diagnosed annually in the U.S.
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • 5-star reviewed mesothelioma and support organization.
Learn More About Us


"My family has only the highest compliment for the assistance and support that we received from The Mesothelioma Center. This is a staff of compassionate and knowledgeable individuals who respect what your family is experiencing and who go the extra mile to make an unfortunate diagnosis less stressful. Information and assistance were provided by The Mesothelioma Center at no cost to our family."
Mesothelioma patient’s daughter
  • Google Review Rating
  • BBB Review Rating
Read Our Testimonials
Jump To A Topic
Quick Facts About Linotype Technicians and Asbestos Exposure
  • Asbestos-Related Disease Risk:
  • States with Highest Employment:
    California, Texas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio

How Were Linotype Technicians Exposed to Asbestos?

In the late 19th century, the Linotype was a significant leap above existing printing technology that produced an entire line of text at one time. At the time, printers could print only single letters or words. The printing industry adopted linotypes as the gold standard for efficient printing throughout the first half of the 20th century.

Printing companies employed technicians and mechanical crews to keep Linotype machines running smoothly. Technicians were responsible for routine maintenance, such as adjusting temperature settings and advanced repairs on malfunctioning parts. Linotype workers also wore protective clothing and gear made with heat-resistant asbestos.

Linotypes contained asbestos insulation to prevent the internal parts from overheating. During repairs, technicians could easily disturb and potentially inhale the carcinogenic fibers, leading to an elevated asbestos exposure risk and the development of mesothelioma. The danger was made worse in workspaces with asbestos-containing building materials and poor ventilation.

The most common hazard occurred when technicians repaired Linotype crucibles. They would chip off the existing asbestos cement, place wet asbestos into a basin, knead it into a dough and pack the mixture into the jacket and liner before replacing the crucible.

These tasks often left asbestos residue on the equipment. Even when the technician was not working directly with asbestos, they still faced occupational exposure risks. When asbestos dust covered a machine, simply wiping soot from the gas burners or tightening the bearings became hazardous.

Lawyer explaining claim
Find a Mesothelioma Attorney
Get help finding a top attorney who can get you the compensation you deserve.

Asbestos Products Associated with Linotype Workers

Linotype manufacturers used different heat-resistant asbestos materials to protect the searing metal parts inside the machine. Technicians may also have used asbestos products to protect company property, or themselves, from burns.

Asbestos Cement

Asbestos cement insulated the linotype crucible, the pot of molten lead located directly near the pump well, which required heat to function. In some cases, workers packed raw asbestos fibers around the crucibles.

Asbestos Insulation

Insulation products help stabilize temperatures within sensitive machinery. Asbestos-contaminated insulation was also present in the walls and attics of many linotype workspaces.

Asbestos Flooring

Vinyl flooring often contained asbestos for its heat-resistant properties. Over time, degraded tiles can release toxic asbestos fibers into the air.

Spray-On Products

Asbestos-containing spray-on products were convenient for applying layers of insulation and heat protection quickly.

Protective Gear

Linotype operators and technicians often wore protective gear, such as gloves and aprons, made with heat-resistant asbestos-treated fabrics.

Manufacturers of Products Linotype Technicians Used

Manufacturers who produced linotypes with asbestos products include:

  • Mergenthaler Linotype Company: Founded in 1890, the Mergenthaler Linotype Company developed the first Linotype machine and, since 1972, has defended itself in dozens of asbestos lawsuits. There are ten ongoing asbestos cases against Mergenthaler as of 2019.
  • Linotype and Machinery Company: Linotype and Machinery Company initially imported American-built machines from the Mergenthaler Linotype Company. Established in 1897 in Broadheath, England, the company’s factory helped fuel a newspaper revolution until the 1960s when computers began to gain popularity.

Other linotype manufacturers sourced their products from multiple corporations, including:

  • Anchor Packing Company: Also branded as Target Gasket Sheet and Tauril Sheet Packing, Anchor Packing produced linotype products.
  • Garlock Sealing Technologies: Garlock manufactured asbestos-lined gaskets for linotypes and filed for bankruptcy in 2010 after litigation.
  • United States Rubber Company: Established in the 1800s, this manufacturer used asbestos to produce products between 1941 and 1976.

Linotype Workers and Mesothelioma

A 2020 research study examined the effects of occupational asbestos exposure and the risk of lung cancer. The report estimated that occupational lung cancer is responsible for 17% to 29% of all lung cancer deaths in men.

Additionally, asbestos is the most significant occupational carcinogen accounting for around 55% to 85% of all occupational lung cancer cases. Linotype operators and other industrial workers exposed to asbestos daily rank among the highest-risk professions for asbestos-related diseases.

One 1972 study found a significant excess of lung cancer fatalities among newspaper room workers in Manchester. The increase was especially notable in machine room workers, whose responsibilities may have included linotype repairs. Linotype workers affected by asbestos exposure and experiencing symptoms can seek a mesothelioma specialist for treatment.

Legal Options for Linotype Technicians Exposed to Asbestos

One asbestos case involved David Peterson, who worked as a printing manager at eight different printing and publishing companies throughout his career.

His job routinely required him to service linotype machines and printing presses. After his diagnosis with an asbestos-related disease, the courts awarded Peterson damages from nine manufacturers using asbestos in products.

In another case, a former linotype worker developed a rapidly advancing mesothelioma diagnosis. He named Mergenthaler Linotype Company and several individual asbestos product manufacturers in a lawsuit as contributors to his exposure.

Linotype workers who develop asbestos-related diseases have legal options available to them. Speaking with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer can help workers discover the legal rights they have for financial compensation. 

Mesothelioma packet from the Mesothelioma Center
Get Your Free Mesothelioma Guide
Get the Compensation You Deserve
Doctor assisting a patient
Find a Top Mesothelioma Doctor

Tell us what you think
Did this article help you?
How did this article help you?
What about this article isn’t helpful for you?
Did this article help you?

Thank you for your feedback. Would you like to speak with a Patient Advocate?