Asbestos is still used on brake linings and clutches in some vehicles. Most American car companies no longer do this, but according to the March 2014 Best Practices by the Environmental Protection Agency, the practice still exists. The average age for Americans cars jumped to an all-time high of 11.4 years in 2013 according to Edmunds.com.
Given the number of old vehicles out there, the EPA recommends mechanics follow guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and assume all brakes have asbestos-type shoes.
Brake technicians who work on replacing brake shoes can be exposed to dust generated by worn-out pads. Mechanics should never blow on brake dust. The EPA warns brake and clutch mechanics that asbestos dust can cling to clothing and advises mechanics to avoid taking work clothing into their homes.
Clothing and car parts with dust suspected or known to contain asbestos must be disposed. Brake workers that work on older equipment may still be at risk of asbestos exposure. By repairing and maintaining brakes, brake workers can release asbestos fibers into the air, exposing themselves and others in the area.