Railroads, Cancer and Asbestos
If you are a retired railroad worker, you were probably exposed to asbestos. For decades, just about every U.S. railroad used asbestos products of some kind. From brake shoes, to gaskets, to asbestos pipe wrap, to asbestos-containing transite boards inside railroad signal cases, asbestos products could be found everywhere on the railroad. The properties of asbestos made it ideal for use in heavy industry, particularly, the railroad industry. Asbestos is strong, heat resistant and flexible so it can be used almost anywhere. It never wears out and will never be destroyed by outside elements. In fact, the word asbestos comes from a Greek word meaning “inextinguishable” or “indestructible.”
The problem is, asbestos is also virtually indestructible once it enters your body. When asbestos is disturbed in any way, by sweeping or drilling or even just brushing up against it, tiny asbestos fibers, can be released. These fibers can enter the body through the nose or the mouth and can be breathed into lungs or swallowed. It has long been known that asbestos causes cancer. Asbestos fibers can lodge in the upper airways or travel deep into the lungs. The body has defense mechanisms, but asbestos fibers can evade these defenses, stay inside the body, cause scarring and sometimes, even many years later, cause cancer. The result can be throat cancer, esophageal cancer, colon cancer or lung cancer. Asbestos also causes mesothelioma, a cancer that attacks the lining of the lung or peritoneum. This cancer has been known to occur in asbestos exposed individuals 20, 30 even 40 years after the exposure. And the exposure does not have to be a severe one. Mesothelioma has been found in individuals with only short-term, minimal exposure to asbestos.
If you or a loved one worked on the railroad and later developed cancer, call us today to discuss your options.