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People are still dying from diseases related to asbestos

If you watched your father, grandfather or uncles die of cancers related to their exposure to asbestos while working in the shipyards or other industries of Louisiana, it was likely an emotional and frustrating time. From the first diagnosis, you may have learned that mesothelioma has no cure, and what followed were months or years of slow decline. Perhaps you experienced this with more than one family member.

You may have hoped that those painful deaths were part of history that this country may never have to repeat, especially following new and stricter regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Your own diagnosis of mesothelioma or lung cancer may have come as a shock. However, continued monitoring of the status of asbestos and the number of deaths it causes shows that thousands are still dying from exposure.

How much is safe?

It does not take much asbestos to create a deadly chain of events inside you. A small amount of fibers inhaled or ingested over even a short period of time can penetrate the lining of the lungs and remain there for years before symptoms begin to show. Workers in certain industries are particularly vulnerable to asbestos exposure. If you worked in the shipyards, oil refineries or industries using many building materials, you were likely exposed to asbestos.

While the EPA has worked to reduce the levels of exposure permitted in most work environments, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that people continue to die, and they are not all men in their eighties. In fact, men and women under the age of 55 are receiving the deadly diagnosis. This shows analysts that many are still at risk for exposure to unacceptable levels of asbestos.

Where is asbestos?

Despite the ban on the production of asbestos products in the U.S., the government has not banned the material itself. In addition to your workplace exposure, there are many ways in which you may encounter asbestos, including:

  • Old insulation
  • Vinyl tiles
  • Roofing materials
  • Paint
  • Alkaline batteries
  • Other household products imported from countries still using asbestos

In fact, it may shock you to learn that over 350 metric tons of asbestos was used across the country in 2015.

What happens next?

Because your exposure to asbestos came in your line of work, you may have many questions. For example, was your supervisor aware of the levels of asbestos at the job site? Did your employer take appropriate precautions to keep you and your co-workers safe? Were there alternatives to asbestos that could have been used to decrease the danger?

For help in seeking the answers to those questions, you have many resources available to you. Most particularly, you may benefit from the assistance of attorneys who dedicate their practice to serving the victims of asbestos in Louisiana.

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