When you hear about mesothelioma, the deadly cancer that is usually caused by asbestos exposure, you usually think about shipyard workers, miners, construction workers, and others who probably were often exposed to the toxic fiber. Yet many do not know that thousands of railroad workers have been exposed to asbestos and have an increased chance of developing asbestos-related cancer.
Both steam and diesel locomotives build between the 1940s and 1980s contained large amounts of asbestos, and many locomotive workers and conductors were unknowingly exposed to asbestos. Even many of the buildings and railroad terminals were filled with asbestos-containing building materials and asbestos-based insulation.
At this time, the use of asbestos has been banned in most Western countries. However, many were exposed to the dangerous material years ago and are still at risk for developing mesothelioma. In other cases, asbestos may still lurk in older buildings and other environments.
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