During the 20th century, the railroad played a crucial role in the economy of the United States as locomotives moved passengers and goods across the country. During this time the railroad industry saw the transition from steam trains to diesel, competition from the rising popularity of travel by automobile and plane, and employed many Americans. Unfortunately, those who worked for the railroad may have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma cancer from asbestos used on the trains.
Asbestos became wildly popular during the twentieth century because the inexpensive mineral could be added to nearly any product to provide strength, flexibility, and resistance to corrosion, heat and flame.
Asbestos insulation was regularly used around boilers, fireboxes, and pipes as well as boxcar walls. Asbestos was also found in many other materials onboard trains including floor tiles, brake and clutch linings, gaskets and sealants. Railroad jobs included engineers, mechanics, brake operators, rail yard workers, and mechanics among others, who were regularly surrounded by these asbestos materials putting them at risk of exposure.
Those railroad employees who worked to install, remove or inspect asbestos parts may have the highest risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. As railway workers handled and altered asbestos insulation and materials, tiny asbestos fibers were released into the air. Once airborne, this asbestos dust often lingered where it could be inhaled, ingested, or carried around on clothing. Once these fibers make their way into the body they can become lodged in organ tissues, causing inflammation and scarring that could eventually lead to mesothelioma.
Sadly, in the United States, millions of people have been exposed to asbestos. Because it generally takes 10 to 60 years from the time of asbestos exposure for mesothelioma symptoms to appear, we are only now seeing the terrible effects of asbestos use.
Trust funds have been established by many companies to pay compensation to those injured by asbestos exposure.
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.