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 in to insulate boilers, steam pipes and engines aboard ships.
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 in maritime and shipyard industry may have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma cancer due to asbestos exposure on the jobsite.
During World War II, the shipbuilding industry reached its peak in production and in employment as the demand for ships, particularly naval ships, was high. It was during this same time, that asbestos was wildly popular because the affordable mineral was durable, strong, non-conductive, and resistant to heat, flame and corrosion. These advantages of asbestos use made it a seemingly perfect material for use in the ship building and maritime industry. Unfortunately, the widespread use of asbestos in the industry puts Navy Veterans, shipyard workers, and ship crews at increased risk of developing mesothelioma cancer from asbestos exposure.
Shipyard workers and ship builders were exposed to dangerous amount of asbestos as these workers handled the asbestos materials used to insulate boilers, steam pipes, cement, water pipes, pumps and engines. The installation of these materials likely exposed shipbuilders to asbestos dust. Even those shipyard jobs that did not require the direct handling of asbestos are at risk of exposure, as the tiny asbestos fibers can linger in the air.
Not only were those constructing ships at risk of exposure, but the crews and longshoremen as well. The largest amounts of asbestos were found in boiler rooms, engine rooms, sleeping quarters and hallways onboard vessels. As asbestos products break down, they create a fine dust of asbestos fibers which built up in these locations which were often under ventilated. Once made airborne, asbestos fibers can be inhaled or ingested my crews, making their way into organ tissue where they cause damage that may lead to the development of mesothelioma cancer.
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.