No matter what one's political views are about the government, its job is to protect its citizens. Most people in Louisiana can agree with that because, in some ways, residents of the Bayou State need extra protection when it comes to matters of public health.
As you may already know, asbestos is a highly dangerous material that often leads to lung cancer and other respiratory conditions. Contrary to popular belief, many products and industries still use asbestos. For example, brake pads used in the automotive industry may contain at least some of the material.
Louisiana has had one of the highest rates of lung cancer among the states in the nation for many years. Some residents blame 'Chemical Alley,' as the stretch of the Mississippi River south of Baton Rouge is known due to the high concentration of chemical plants. Others may factor in the shipyards and factories that used asbestos for so many decades.
New Orleans had a Pirates' Alley and a Dutch Alley, but the city is better known for its streets and avenues now. The nearby Mississippi River Valley has been called several names ending in "Alley," and none of them are positive. Cancer Alley, Death Alley and Chemical Alley are all common monikers for an area with a high incidence of lung cancer and other respiratory problems.
Lung illness has become unfortunately common in Louisiana. The state often leads the national average in the instances of lung cancer, mesothelioma and other ailments of the respiratory system. Many experts have blamed the various chemical industries along the Mississippi River and their related emissions for the poor air quality.
Clean air and clean water are often considered a human right. But the reality is that some places have better or worse air quality, and that can have a real cost on quality of life. Those costs may also be medical expenses if people suffer from lung cancer, asthma and other ailments that can be common in polluted air.
You never want to hear these three words from your doctor: "You have cancer."
Lung cancer is a serious disease that is typically accompanied by a variety of signs and symptoms. If you're in-tune with your health, it's easier to pinpoint these signs and hopefully catch the cancer before it spreads to other parts of your body.
A man experienced problems breathing to the point he could barely function. He went to his doctor, who gave him a physical and told him everything was fine. Now he has terminal lung cancer, and he cannot even sue the practice that failed to diagnose him.
The Mississippi River Valley's end in Louisiana has been the heart of the economy in the Deep South for centuries. Although the water has brought a lot of commerce and transportation options, factories and refineries on parts of the river now nicknamed "Chemical Alley" dropped staggering quantities of noxious and dangerous substances into the environment of ordinary Louisianans.