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.
Louisiana has a long history of litigation over asbestos, and the end is not yet near. A 71-year-old veteran of local politics is suing parts of Jefferson Parish and other related defendants for exposure to asbestos during his decades of experience as a school board and parish council member. The suit alleges their culpability for his mesothelioma, which was diagnosed within the last year.
Not every person exposed to asbestos ends up suffering from mesothelioma for which researchers continue to struggle to find a cure. Other conditions also related to the inhalation and ingestion of this toxic substance exist, and they end up changing the lives of those who suffer from them.
Chemicals make many things in modern life possible, from the running of automobile engines to the preservatives in food at the grocery store. Their manufacture, however, has caused many environmental problems in the United States and medical problems for many of its citizens.
It is only a recent development in U.S. history that companies must answer for dangerous products they have released. But developments such as government agencies dedicated to protecting specific groups of citizens and legal obligations to victims of poor business practices have strengthened the age of holding makers responsible.