Shipbuilding requires hundreds of workers, especially when it comes to large vessels like Navy ships and cruise ships. If you worked as a shipfitter or builder, you may have been regularly exposed to asbestos in your job.
Although there are currently many restrictions on the use of asbestos in vessels, it was once a very common material used for a variety of purposes. In fact, it is still used in modern ships under limited circumstances for purposes such as thermal insulation.
Even if it’s been decades since you’ve worked around asbestos, you may eventually find yourself showing symptoms of asbestos-related medical conditions, such as mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the organ linings or lung cancer.
Don’t ignore the risk because you feel your exposure was low
There was a time when employers tried to establish safe levels of asbestos exposure. More modern research has made it clear that there is no safe level of exposure to particulate asbestos. Inhaling this mineral can result in someone developing cancer — possibly decades later.
Particularly if you worked without respiratory equipment or if there weren’t other safety precautions in place, acknowledging your risk for mesothelioma as a shipyard worker can help you catch the signs of the illness earlier. An early diagnosis of mesothelioma may open up some more treatment options.
Although it is not currently a curable form of cancer, modern treatments can drastically increase the life expectancy and the quality of life for an individual struggling with mesothelioma. Seeking compensation after workplace exposure to asbestos is often critical, as treatments can be very expensive and might not qualify for insurance coverage. An experienced attorney can help you.