Asbestos Exposure and Railroad Workers
The railroad literally transformed the United States from a largely agricultural nation into the leading manufacturing power in the world. Railroad workers made possible interstate and intrastate commerce by providing an efficient and inexpensive means of transporting large amounts of material. Tragically, many thousands of these workers were also exposed to the highly toxic material asbestos. If you are among those who have suffered illness from exposure, it is vital that you speak with a New Jersey asbestos exposure lawyer.
A New Jersey Asbestos Exposure Attorney on the History of Asbestos in the Railroad Industry
At the apex of railway use, over 300,000 miles of track reached across the country, connecting cities and towns with large manufacturing centers. Previous to the railroad, transporting materials long distances was simply too difficult and costly. The development of the railroad industry created an abundance of jobs, with workers building, inspecting, loading, and operating these so-called Iron Horses.
As a New Jersey asbestos exposure lawyer can tell you, the fortune of many railroad workers in having steady work turned to misfortune for thousands once asbestos was introduced in the 1930s. The dangers of this material were not known until the 1970s, at which time its use was eliminated.
A New Jersey Asbestos Exposure Attorney on the Widespread Use of Asbestos
Until several decades ago, then, as a New Jersey asbestos exposure lawyer will tell you, the material was used as insulation in locomotives, covering pipes, boilers, and other equipment that could potentially catch fire. Asbestos was also used in brake pads, clutches, and in passenger compartments in the ceiling and floors. Indeed, for this reason, a damaged floor or ceiling meant that even passengers were vulnerable to exposure.
Given the many areas of trains where asbestos were used, virtually anyone who worked on them ran the risk of exposure. Sadly, as a New Jersey asbestos exposure lawyer can attest, these individuals believed that the material actually provided protection rather than danger.
A Continued Risk
Should a person believe that the risk of contracting a disease from asbestos exposure ended in the 1970s when laws were put in place prohibiting asbestos use, such is not the case. A study conducted in the 1980s showed that fully one-fifth of railroad workers age 50 or older had been exposed and ran a continued risk of falling ill. This is largely due, as a New Jersey asbestos exposure lawyer can explain in more detail, to the fact that respiratory illnesses and mesothelioma linked to asbestos exposure can occur many years after the fact—as many as 50 years later. Considering that some older trains still contain asbestos, the risk continues today.
One challenge in seeking compensation from exposure is that railroad workers are not covered by workers’ compensation. Individuals who have suffered a disease related to exposure should consult a New Jersey asbestos exposure lawyer to discuss how to proceed with a claim.
Call a New Jersey Asbestos Exposure Attorney for Legal Representation
If you have been employed as a railroad worker and have fallen ill, you may be a victim of exposure to asbestos. As such, you may be able to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost work time, pain, suffering, loss of consortium, and more. Call New Jersey asbestos exposure lawyer Gerald H. Clark today to arrange a consultation: (877) 841-8855.