Throughout the 20th century, tons of asbestos were mined in our country and put in thousands of everyday products. Asbestos was very inexpensive and was used as filler in many different products throughout many different industries. For example, asbestos was widely used onboard ships in insulation of cargo holds, steam rooms and engine rooms.
There are a number of different jobs where workers were exposed to a large amount of asbestos on a very frequent basis. People who have worked as longshoremen may have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma cancer due to asbestos exposure on the jobsite.
Longshoremen, also known as a harbor worker or dock laborer, are employed primarily to load and unload docked ships. Regular job tasks often required a longshoreman to move cargo both manually and with machinery.
Asbestos was widely on board ships and in shipyards. Asbestos was desirable onboard ships because the durable mineral was not easily corroded and was resistant to heat and flame that could devastate a ship. Asbestos materials were often used as insulation found in steam and engine rooms, and around pipes that ran throughout the ship.
Longshoremen were often exposed to this asbestos from the ship while onboard ships as they loaded and unloaded cargo. Additionally, crates and pallets were often covered with asbestos fibers from the ship or even from the cargo itself. The United States produced large amounts of asbestos throughout the 20th century, but the import of asbestos products from overseas was also common. Below desk, where poor ventilation was common, airborne asbestos fibers from damaged asbestos materials can easily be inhaled or ingested. As these asbestos fibers settle in the lungs and other internal tissues it can cause damage putting longshoremen at risk of developing peritoneal mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma, or pericardial mesothelioma along with other asbestos-related diseases.
Unfortunately, millions of people have been exposed to asbestos over the years. Only now are we able to see the disastrous effects of asbestos exposure in the workplace. Generally, it takes 10 to 60 years from the time of asbestos exposure until symptoms appear or mesothelioma is diagnosed.
Many of the companies have established trust funds to pay compensation to persons injured by asbestos.
If you have mesothelioma, or other asbestos-related injury, and wish to consult an attorney about your legal rights to compensation, CLICK HERE for a free consultation.