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New Orleans Asbestos Blog

How do I know if asbestos affected my health?

Many citizens and workers in Louisiana experienced health problems due to the use of asbestos in construction and insulation in the second half of the 20th century. In fact, asbestos-related illnesses have become the largest and most expensive class of lawsuits and other tort actions in U.S. history. But the problem persists, partially because of the complexity of these health problems.

What are the problems that asbestos exposure can cause?

Having difficulty breathing? It could be due to mesothelioma

During the numerous years that you worked around asbestos, you may or may not have known that it put your health, and your life, in jeopardy. Perhaps after a decade or two, you even forgot that your exposure could cause you medical issues.

Then, as the years passed, you began to have trouble breathing. You may find yourself winded just walking around your house. Maybe you smoked for several years, or even continue to do so, and you attributed this to smoking. What you may not realize is that shortness of breath is a significant sign and symptom of mesothelioma.

Lung cancer danger now shown on cigarette packaging

Workers, families and children in Louisiana have faced many causes of lung cancer, from asbestos in insulation materials to toxic chemicals released by refineries along the Mississippi River. Two major challenges to health often related to lung cancer, asbestos and cigarettes, were subject to some of the largest collections of lawsuits in terms of time spent in court and money recovered from manufacturers.

A lawsuit filed nearly two decades ago is bringing a new requirement into effect. Cigarette packs and cartons sold in the United States are now legally required to feature a warning describing the health problems associated with smoking, including the dangers of secondhand smoke.

Class action about talcum powder may only be the first

There are probably a dozen chemicals in the bathroom that we rely on to stay clean and fresh. It would be a violation to learn that one or more of them had never been as safe as the maker claimed. That is the scenario playing out in several courts as a staple of bathroom hygiene products is under scrutiny.

The lawsuits allege that talcum powder, often used as an absorbent for intimate areas, was contaminated with asbestos and the manufacturer was aware of it before it claims. Asbestos and its small fibers have been associated with lung problems including mesothelioma and other types of cancers.

Court rules asbestos death lawsuit was not filed early enough

Asbestos has wrought havoc on thousands of people's health and the court systems of dozens of states. Compensation for use of the hazardous fibrous material as an insulator or construction material has cost manufacturers and governments hundreds of millions of dollars over nearly five decades of constant litigation.

Asbestos has been off the market for years and removed from most buildings and vessels, but the danger still remains for some. In one case, a Louisiana court ruled the claimant waited too long to sue a shipyard for an asbestos-related illness and death because of a state law requiring such cases must be initiated within a year of a person's death.

Massive long-running asbestos case finally awards payouts

There are not many public health issues that have attracted as much attention -- or cost as much money -- as asbestos. The substance's use as an insulator in the middle of the 20th century ensured that much of the rest of the century was spent arguing over its ill effects in court. Thousands of people suffering from respiratory disease or injury have lodged complaints in courts across the country.

A hotspot for lawsuits over asbestos exposure has been the Texas-Louisiana border, where refineries and chemical plants may have exposed thousands of neighbors and workers to hazardous substances in the air and water. One of the oldest and largest cases in the region finally came to a close with more than 2,000 victims winning a class action suit over asbestos-related health issues.

Have your parent's doctors mentioned palliative care?

Perhaps your parent had little to no idea that when he or she worked out at the Avondale shipyards that asbestos exposure would someday lead to a diagnosis of mesothelioma. By now, your family probably knows that there is no cure for this condition.

As the disease progresses, your loved one may reach a point where his or her doctors begin mentioning palliative care instead of further treatment.

Valley near New Orleans has alarmingly high cancer rates

Louisiana is known as a great destination for outdoor activity, enough that the state's nickname was "Sportsman's Paradise" for decades. But recent evidence shows that many parts of the Mississippi River Valley have been dangerous to inhabitants and visitors alike for years.

Why is Louisiana a serious concern for health?

Lawsuits claim talcum powder may cause cancer

Talcum powder has been marketed for decades as a method to stay dry, but it may have a dangerous side effect that users should have known about from the beginning. Asbestos among the fine particles of talc in the toiletry product may have been inhaled, causing a cancer in the lining of an organ known as mesothelioma.

One of the most insidious problems with mesothelioma is its difficulty to detect. The symptoms, which include chest pain and shortness of breath, may be so subtle or confused with other problems that the cancer is not detected until it is too late to treat effectively.

Asbestos suit finally resolved by Louisiana appeals court

The era of unmitigated environmental damage from harmful products and emissions is over, but Louisiana still suffers the consequences of old problems. Asbestos, a fibrous material connected to lung cancer and other respiratory problems, is still the subject of lawsuits in the Bayou State.

A former pipefitter who worked for a major manufacturer of environmental control products filed a suit against his former employer, which claimed exposure to asbestos and products that contained it during the course of his work. This added to the largest and most expensive body of tort law in United States history.