Federal health officials in June 2011 declared formaldehyde to be a known carcinogen. This seeming formality is actually of great interest to the attorneys with our Virginia personal injury law firm because many of our clients are former railroad workers who developed cancer after spending years or decades breathing in formaldehyde, which is one of the dozens of potentially harmful chemicals in diesel fumes. A large majority of locomotive engines burn diesel, meaning that all engineers, brakemen, trackmen and conductors who spend time on trains or in rail yards face some risk of developing the nose, throat and blood cancers now recognized as being caused by exposure to formaldehyde.

My FELA plaintiff’s attorney colleague Rick Shapiro has written more about formaldehyde as a cause of cancer on the YardLimits Forum for current and retired railroaders. Rick includes a link to more in-depth information on that site, as well.