Shipyard Workers & Mesothelioma
Many workers across various industries have been exposed to toxic asbestos-containing materials. One such field where hazardous materials were widely used was in shipyard work. Shipyard workers constructed a wide range of ships made for both military and civilian use.
The use of asbestos-containing products was especially prevalent until the 1970s. Until that point, the U.S. military had allowed for more than 300 asbestos-containing products to be used during ship construction.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, an estimated 27 million workers were exposed to aerosolized asbestos fibers between 1940 and 1979. Additionally, a 2008 study found that shipyard workers carried a mortality rate 16 times greater than the average of other occupations.
Despite their dedication to our country, military shipyard workers have some of the highest numbers of asbestos exposure and those who were in the Navy have been most affected.
If you or a loved one had previously worked in a shipyard and is currently dealing with an asbestos-related illness, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for your injury. Contact Hotze Runkle PLLC today at (512) 476-7771 for help from experienced and qualified asbestos litigation lawyers.
Where and how did asbestos exposure occur?
As previously mentioned, the U.S. military had authorized the use of more than 300 asbestos-containing products until the 1970s. Many components and general areas of ships contained high levels of asbestos including:
- Boiler rooms
- Engine rooms
- Sleep quarters
Because of the heavy use of asbestos in shipyard work, the vast majority of individuals working in the shipbuilding industry were likely exposed to this deadly carcinogen. Any worker that helped in the construction of the ship, performed maintenance and repairs, overhauls, or even decommissions likely faced exposure. Shipyard workers who may have been exposed include:
- Janitorial and cleanup crew members
- Ship lifters
- Servicemen aboard vessels
Ships used asbestos for insulation because of its ‘safety features’ such as being fire retardant and resisting corrosion. It was a way to preserve the vessel, therefore, it was used in such staggering quantities.
Not only was asbestos used in military ships, but also civilian luxury liners such as cruise ships. The lack of ventilation aboard vessels caused exposure to the toxic material, even when workers were not in direct contact with it.
Anyone in contact with a vessel that was heavily lined with asbestos could be at risk for damages.
How is asbestos in shipyards still impacting people today?
There are 106,000 shipyard workers employed nationally today, all who face a moderate rate of exposure to the hazardous material. Due to previously placed asbestos insulation in the vessels, lingering amounts of asbestos can present harm to current shipyard workers.
The highest levels of asbestos-related illness and exposure are in California. With its long coast darted with countless shipyards, and even its large prevalence of natural asbestos deposits, this state is number one in deaths by mesothelioma and other asbestos-caused illness.
Call the national asbestos litigation lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC if you or a loved one suspects that you have been exposed to asbestos while on the job in a shipyard.
Our knowledgeable asbestos lawyers know which companies in the shipyard industry are responsible for the asbestos-related illnesses suffered by workers.
We are prepared to fight and help get you the compensation necessary to help treat or deal with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases. Call us right now at (512) 476-7771 for a free consultation with our national asbestos lawyers.