Asbestos exposure while working for a railroad can be deadly. In fact, for people who died from asbestosis, one of the most frequently listed industries on death certificates was the railroad industry. Multiple studies have shown that people battling with asbestosis (i.e. a scarring of the lungs due to asbestos fiber inhalation that makes breathing increasingly more difficult) have a much greater risk of developing mesothelioma cancer.
The troubling data about asbestosis deaths is not surprising given the dubious history and nature of the railroad industry. It's infuriating to know that the industry was aware of the health risks associated with asbestos exposure dating back to the 1950s, yet they still routinely used asbestos products for heat shielding and insulation.
In addition to using asbestos for heat protection for machinery, the railroad industry used asbestos for the production of carriages and engine parts and to insulate machinery and pipes throughout the train system. Many of the major railroads (e.g. CSX, Conrail, Norfolk Southern, etc.) even lined passenger cars with asbestos. They even used asbestos after moving from steam to diesel locomotives.
Studies have shown that railroad workers (e.g., trainmen, conductors, engineers, brakemen, etc.) have a much higher chance, compared to the general population, of developing asbestos-related diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma lung cancer. Unfortunately, there is a long incubation and dormancy period associated with mesothelioma lung cancer so that means there is a good chance that thousands more railroad workers are going to be diagnosed with mesothelioma in the near future.
If you or a loved one was exposed to asbestos during your tenure with a railroad company like CSX, Conrail, Norfolk Southern, or any other rail company, you should speak to an experienced railroad worker attorney about your health condition and legal options. For more information about the dangers of asbestos exposure, download our firm's free informational guide about the connection between mesothelioma and asbestos.
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