Secondary Exposure in Louisiana

A Closer Look at “Shaker Cases”

Secondary exposure to asbestos occurs when a person is indirectly exposed to asbestos through either a household member or the environment, and can be a direct cause of mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other life-threatening diseases. These types of cases are often referred to a “shaker cases.”

Unfortunately, “shaker cases” are relatively common in Louisiana, where workers at places like shipyards, insulation plants and many other similar job sites have brought home asbestos on their clothing, resulting in secondary asbestos exposure to family members.

Some sites where workers may have been exposed to asbestos in Louisiana include:

  • A number of companies at the Port of New Orleans
  • Anco Insulations
  • Asbestos Corporation Limited
  • Avondale
  • Chevron
  • Cities Services
  • ConocoPhilips
  • Eagle, Inc. (formerly Eagle Asbestos & Packing)
  • Entergy
  • Equitable Shipyard
  • Foster Wheeler
  • Hopeman Brothers
  • McCarty Corporation
  • PPG, Hercules, Inc.
  • Reilly Benton
  • Shell, Exxon
  • Union Carbide Corporation
  • Uniroyal

What is a “shaker case”?

The term “shaker” actually refers to a process of laundering clothing. When a person comes home after working with asbestos, usually their clothing is contaminated with asbestos. Whomever launders or cleans the contaminated work clothes can easily be exposed to asbestos fibers released from the clothing during the cleaning process. Anyone exposed to asbestos dust can potentially expose others to it as well, since it can cling to shoes, skin, fabric, and hair.

In a worst case scenario, asbestos exposure can cause a very severe form of cancer called mesothelioma, which affects the membranous lining of the lungs and thoracic cavity. Mesothelioma is a direct result of industrial workplace exposure to asbestos; ninety percent of mesothelioma cases are caused by exposure to asbestos at a worksite while on the job.

How much exposure is OK?

There is no level of exposure to asbestos that is currently considered safe. Every instance of contact with asbestos or with a person whose clothes are contaminated with asbestos may be enough to lead to mesothelioma later in life. Mesothelioma takes years to manifest or become symptomatic, and by the time a diagnosis of mesothelioma is made, there are very limited treatments available.

What should you do if you may have been exposed?

Even though federal laws have been established to decrease the risk of secondary asbestos exposure to family members in the home, it is already too late for those suffering the effects of secondary exposure that took place 20 years ago or longer.

If you or a loved one has concerns that you may have been exposed to asbestos, please contact us today. At the Law Firm of Landry, Swarr and Canella we are focused exclusively asbestos related injuries including mesothelioma and lung cancer and can provide you with the guidance and counsel you need during this difficult time.