Asbestos Exposure in the Louisiana Marine Industry
In Louisiana, the marine industry has always been a strong point of pride as one of our largest and most successful industries. From the Gulf of Mexico to the Port of New Orleans, Louisiana’s maritime industry includes a variety of specialties including shipping, seafood, exporting, oil and gas as well as shipbuilding and marine construction.
However, the individuals who were working within this industry thirty years ago were faced with serious health risks that could still be affecting their lives significantly even today. Anyone who worked as a sailor, deckhand, longshoremen, freight handler, shipbuilder, or in any other Louisiana marine industry profession, was likely exposed to asbestos throughout their career.
High Risk Louisiana Maritime Jobs
Louisiana is proud to have one of the largest seaports in the southern United States. However, out of the Louisiana industries affected by asbestos exposure, those who worked within the shipyards, and other seaport sites, seem to be at the highest risk. Hundreds of deaths have been attributed to asbestos related illnesses among those who worked in the marine industry in Louisiana.
- Click here to read more about asbestos exposure at Louisiana shipyards
- Click here to read more about asbestos exposure at Bollinger Shipyards
- Click here to read more about asbestos exposure at Avondale Shipyards
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a material that was commonly used due to its low cost and heat resistant properties. Asbestos insulation was frequently used to insulate machinery and equipment such as engines and boilers which are commonly found in large ships. It is made from inorganic minerals known as silicates that cannot be broken down by the human body, and can cause serious health problems if ingested or inhaled.
When asbestos is stirred in any way, or as it ages and degrades, it releases microfibers into the air that are then inhaled into the lungs. Once in the lungs, the fibers can cause harmful scarring, or even a form of cancer known as mesothelioma. Individuals are still diagnosed with mesothelioma in Louisiana today, and the primary cause of this rare cancer is exposure to asbestos.
Why Asbestos Exposure is so Prominent in the Louisiana Marine Industry
Asbestos insulation was widely used in shipyards and other marine related locations in order to cover pipes, heavy machinery, and other forms of equipment. This was an especially dangerous use for asbestos because it was often placed in areas that involved moving parts, or areas where employees would need to interact with the material directly. There were plenty of opportunities for the asbestos to be released into the air in these seaports and shipyards of Louisiana, where it could then be inhaled. Anyone who worked in these environments over thirty years ago, were likely exposed to these very dangerous materials.
If you or a loved one worked in the maritime industry in Louisiana, please contact us today and speak to one of our attorneys with experience in asbestos law in order to better understand your rights, as well as to find out if you may be entitled to compensation for injuries or illness.