Many people have seen the mesothelioma lawsuit commercials on TV. Everyone knows that asbestos causes mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer. However, that does not stop the nation’s railroads from trying to use junk science to defend itself in mesothelioma lawsuits brought by railroad workers who worked day in and day out with asbestos which was used in railroad brake shoes, locomotive pipe insulation, railroad shops, gaskets, signal cases, and many other places on the railroad. The railroads’ defense can be summed up in one sentence: “Asbestos causes mesothelioma, but not our railroad asbestos.”
The basis of the railroads’ argument is that a certain type of asbestos (“chrysotile”) used by railroads does not cause mesothelioma and that mesothelioma can only be caused by other types of less commonly used asbestos (“amosite” or “crocidolite” which are also referred to as “amphiboles”). This dubious railroad defense is nothing more than an attempt to avoid legal responsibility for the many mesothelioma deaths the railroad industry is responsible for every year.
The railroads base their argument on biased, published medical articles, many of which were funded by the asbestos industry or written by medical experts who regularly testify against workers suffering from mesothelioma. The railroads’ attempt to use these junk science articles to escape liability and pull the wool over the eyes of juries is clear evidence that the railroads regularly choose profits over people.
So what do the unbiased, authoritative health agencies say on this topic? Every reputable health agency that has weighed in has concluded that ALL asbestos types cause mesothelioma:
- “Asbestos Bibliography,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, September 1997: “While the number of mesothelioma cases from populations exposed only to chrysotile has been small, an association with chrysotile exposure has been definitively established . . . Thus, both epidemiologic evidence and experimental confirmation indicate that chrysotile, amosite, and crocidolite asbestos are causative agents for mesothelioma.” (This document can be accessed here).
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2001: “There is general agreement among scientists and health agencies . . . [e]xposure to any asbestos type (i.e., serpentine or amphibole) can increase the likelihood of lung cancer, mesothelioma, and nonmalignant lung and pleural disorders.” (This document can be accessed here).
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 29 CFR Parts 1910, et al, Occupational Exposure to Asbestos; Final Rule, August 10, 1994: “although there is some evidence linking chrysotile to a lower mesothelioma rate than some amphibole fiber types, OSHA believes that there is insufficient evidence to show that chrysotile does not present a significant mesothelioma risk to exposed employees.” (This document can be accessed here).
- American Cancer Society: “There are different types of asbestos fibers (including chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, tremolite, actinolite, and anthophyllite), and all of them have been linked with cancer” (This document can be accessed here)
In short, the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the American Cancer Society, and every other governmental organization which has weighed in on this topic disagree with the railroads! While certain asbestos fiber types are more hazardous, ALL fiber types cause mesothelioma.
The law firm of Doran and Murphy has been handling railroad mesothelioma cases for almost 30 years. If you or a loved one have any questions about your legal rights and the railroads’ responsibility for mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure, feel free to reach out to the railroad mesothelioma lawyers at Doran and Murphy! You can also learn more at our website. Contact us today.