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.
Louisiana has paid too high a price in creating many of the country’s ships, chemicals and other necessary products. Exposure to asbestos has been associated with various types of cancer that have been diagnosed in the Bayou State’s shipyard workers, factory labor and others. The entire populations of some towns are at higher risk in Louisiana, a state which already has higher air pollutant levels than most of the United States.
The town of Reserve sits in the middle of a stretch of the Mississippi River north of New Orleans often called “Cancer Alley” due to the dozens of petrochemical plants and similar factories. This town has some of the worst air in the country, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Some clusters of lung cancer incidents, including entire generations of families, have been associated with proximity to some of these plants. A lawsuit is pending against the owner of a plant making an EPA-certified carcinogen to stop the possible pollution before it affects more people.
People who suspect a connection between lung cancer and nearby infrastructure may consider a lawsuit of their own. An attorney can advise on whether a specific situation warrants an action in civil court to claim financial damages.