Shipyard workers, asbestos cancer and legal resources
Shipyard workers were exposed to asbestos in military ship construction. If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer from asbestos, our firm can help you file a claim to receive compensation for your health concerns.
Because large numbers of workers were employed in United States shipyards during World War II, the long-term risks for cancer associated with asbestos exposure in this setting are of great concern.
Shipyard workers and asbestos illness
Breathing asbestos mainly causes problems in the lungs and the membrane that surrounds the lungs, including:
Asbestosis - Scarring of lung tissue that causes breathing problems, usually in workers exposed to asbestos in workplaces before the Federal government began regulating asbestos use (mid-1970s).
Pleural plaques – Scarring in the inner surface of the ribcage and area surrounding the lungs that can cause breathing problems, though usually not as serious as asbestosis. People living in areas with high environmental levels of asbestos, as well as workers, can develop pleural plaques.
Cancer - The two types of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos are lung cancer and mesothelioma, a cancer of the thin lining surrounding the lung (pleural membrane) or abdominal cavity (the peritoneum).
Research on shipyard workers and asbestos cancer
The relationship of asbestos exposure to shipyards cancer risk has been the subject of much epidemiological research.
Of special concern in recent years has been the extent to which workers in naval shipyards, in particular, are at increased risk.
One reason for this interest is the very large size of shipyard work forces, particularly at certain periods in the past - an estimated 4.5 million United States men worked in shipyards during World War I.
One study, "Cancer Occurrence in Shipyard Workers Exposed to Asbestos in Hawaii," found the risk ratio for lung cancer among workers with at least 15 years of asbestos exposure was 1.4 overall (95% confidence interval, 1.0 to 2.0) and 1.7 for those with a latency interval of 30 or more years (95% confidence interval, 1.0 to 2.5).
In addition, seven mesotheliomas occurred during the research period in a subset of the cohort, consisting of 7029 Hawaii residents who are being followed prospectively for cancer incidence.
This represented an incidence of 67.3 per million men per year, compared with a rate of 5.8 for the state as a whole.
Although recently constructed Navy ships have little or no asbestos thermal insulation, other Navy ships contain large quantities of asbestos. Better supervision, training, and workplace monitoring, as well as increased use of engineering controls, can help further reduce exposure. As long as ships contain asbestos insulation, some exposure is probably inevitable.
Shipyard workers and asbestos compensation
Some shipyard workers who later developed an asbestos-related disease after completion of their service have chosen to contact an asbestos attorney to receive compensation to help pay for treatment.
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