While most cases of mesothelioma are related to exposure to the widely-used, fireproof insulation material asbestos, because of the way our city grew and its role as a port, people in New Orleans have some additional avenues of exposure that workers in other cities may not. It’s important to note that the vast majority of mesothelioma sufferers are older, and that their exposure happened many years ago. Exposure under the age of 30 has an especially strong link to mesothelioma later in life.
Asbestos was heavily used in construction and shipbuilding, which means that workers in these fields have a higher than usual risk of developing mesothelioma, sometimes decades later. Individuals who worked as insulation installers, especially early in life, should particularly pay attention to symptoms that may indicate early mesothelioma. In addition, railroad and auto workers have also shown a higher risk.
The risks aren’t just for those in a particular field. As a port and transport hub that grew enormously in the the decades after World War II, when asbestos use was at its peak, it’s likely that tens of thousands of people who lived or worked near construction or transit sites may have experienced some level of exposure to asbestos, as well as those who moved into newly constructed homes or workplaces where asbestos was used as an insulation.
Asbestos that made its way into the ductwork of buildings or came loose in ceilings or walls became airborne particulates that could be breathed in by the inhabitants of the structure. For those who experienced workplace exposure, it is understood that many family members may have experienced exposure too, as asbestos fibers are carried home on the worker’s clothing.
While mesothelioma is a relatively rare cancer, longtime residents of New Orleans should get symptoms checked as early as possible if they suspect they have been exposed to asbestos. The Gertler Firm can help you get compensation if mesothelioma affects you. Call us today at (504) 581-6411 for a free consultation.