Asbestos has been used as an industrial-grade insulator since the Roman Empire. But asbestos is best known today for its role in causing mesothelioma, an aggressive and incurable form of cancer that affects the tissue linings of the chest cavity and lungs. The fatal effects of asbestos have been well-documented, and in 2012 the International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that all forms of asbestos cause cancer. Some limited restrictions have been put in place to prevent manufacturers from using asbestos, but these restrictions have been criticized by some as “too little, too late.” Additionally, it can take up to 40 years after asbestos exposure for mesothelioma or related diseases to appear; so, in many cases, those who were unjustly exposed by corporations long ago are only now realizing the extent of their injuries.
Unfortunately, the risk of contracting mesothelioma is higher in Louisiana than in the rest of the country: One study performed by the National Center for Health Statistics found that Louisiana ranked 18th in the country for asbestos-related deaths. According to some estimates, nearly 856 people in the state of Louisiana alone died from mesothelioma and asbestosis between 1999 and 2013, with more added to that list every passing year. With the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 exposing thousands to the remains of asbestos-laden buildings, those rates are expected to hold through the next several decades.
If you’re one of the many in Louisiana who may have been exposed to asbestos, get tested as soon as possible. While it can be difficult to find mesothelioma at an early stage, an asbestos detection test can help you understand your exposure risks and prepare for the future.
Who Is At Risk for Mesothelioma in Louisiana?
Anyone who has worked in construction or manufacturing – especially in shipyards, steel mills, power plants, and military crafts – faces a heightened risk for this deadly disease. New Orleans, in particular, is home to some of the largest shipyards in the country, including the major shipping provider Avondale Shipyards. Power plants throughout the New Orleans area, such as Plant Eaton and Cleco Power Plants, have also been subject to major asbestos removal projects, in an attempt to curtail the risk posed to residents.
The occupations that face the highest risk for mesothelioma include:
- Power plant workers
- Steel mill workers
- Shipping industry employees
- Dock workers
- Construction workers
- Factory workers
But while these occupations face a higher risk of mesothelioma than most, anyone exposed to the material is also at risk. Before the 1980s, the public was relatively unaware of the dangers of asbestos, and so it was used to fireproof virtually every major building. In 2016, an inspection report even showed that a major criminal courthouse in New Orleans tested positive for asbestos in 40% of samples taken, which constituted a Category 1 EPA Hazard. Because of this, it’s important to monitor yourself and your family carefully for symptoms of asbestos exposure.
Prepare for your future with our proven mesothelioma attorneys in Louisiana. We can provide you with counsel on your case and fight to win maximum recovery for your injuries. Contact us at (855) 473-1833 for a free consultation.