Mesothelioma & Asbestosis

As a result of their exposure to asbestos on the docks and in the shipyards of Massachusetts, or through their military service, many Massachusetts residents, now suffer from mesothelioma or asbestosis.

Asbestosis is a chronic lung condition caused by asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs, heart or abdomen. Mesolthelioma is caused almost exclusively by prior exposure to asbestos compounds and asbestos fibers.

Since asbestos was valued mainly for its fire-proofing and insulating properties, and such properties were especially valued on warships, those Massachusetts residents who worked in Massacshusetts’ many shipyards building Navy ships, served on Navy ships, or worked on Massachusetts’ docks, were exposed heavily to asbestos up through the 1970s. This exposure had serious consequences for many of these workers and brave servicemen. According to one study, conducted by the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, 86 percent of shipyard workers with 20 or more years of experience developed asbestos-related lung disease.

Adding to this tragedy, many family members of shipyard workers or longshoremen suffer from mesothelioma or asbestosis due to asbestos fibers that their family’s breadwinner brought home on his work clothes.

Although many of Massachusetts’ shipyards and shipbuilding corporations are now defunct, mesothelioma victims who worked in these shipyards and on Massachusetts docks can still recover from the actual asbestos manufacturers and other defendants. Likewise, although Massachusetts Navy veterans who contracted mesothelioma from their exposure to asbestos on Navy ships cannot sue the Navy for their illness, they are entitled to sue the asbestos manufacturer and other parties.

Although many Massachusetts victims of mesothelioma worked in shipyards or served in the military, the asbestos exposure faced by Massachusetts citizens was not limited to shipyards or the Navy. Asbestos was a common industrial product and many Massachusetts tradesman, such as plumbers and electricians, had heavy asbestos exposure as well. Mesothelioma is such an unusual form of lung cancer, accounting for only four percent of the lung cancers in the United States, that anyone suffering from it should investigate his or her asbestos exposure. Mestothelioma has a very long latency period and so the consequences of asbestos exposure do not show up for decades.

Lastly, although many people believe that asbestos is no longer used in industry or in the military, this is not the case. The Environmental Protection Agency did enforce a brief ban in the late 1980s, but a federal court overturned this ban in 1991. Today, many rescue workers and volunteers who worked excavating 9/11’s Ground Zero, are concerned with their asbestos exposure.

If you or a family member suffers from mesothelioma, asbestosis, or some other health condition that you believe to be asbestos-related, contact The Law Office of Alan H. Crede at (617)648-8263.