Railroad workers face an extremely high risk of asbestos exposure, especially those employed prior to 1960. Before that time, many railroad freight and transport companies still relied on steam locomotives.
Since these locomotives used boilers alongside many high-friction parts, locomotive builders frequently used asbestos materials. They intended these materials to shield workers from heat, while reducing the impact of friction on sensitive machine parts. Additionally, locomotive gaskets, wallboards, sealing cement and other products commonly contained asbestos well past the 1950s.
Unfortunately, these design choices lead to asbestos exposure becoming a common incidence among train workers. A 1987 study found that 21 percent of workers aged 50 or older at the time could document asbestos exposure. Evidence also suggests a strong likelihood of asbestos exposure continuing in rail workers employed on or near locomotives built prior to 1970.
Railroad Workers Asbestos Exposure Related Cancer
Because of their high incidence of exposure, railroad workers have a correspondingly high risk of developing asbestos-related lung cancers or mesothelioma.
A 1999 study of railroad workers employed between 1945 and 1969 found extremely high rates of death to asbestos-related lung cancer and mesothelioma cancer. They noted lung cancer levels elevated 123 times above the expected rate.
They also observed a high incidence of pleural cancers at an astounding 1,326 times the typical rate. Additionally, many workers passed from cancers of the larynx, pancreas and liver. The study attributed the majority of lung and mesothelioma cancers to asbestos exposure.
Earlier studies conducted in 1995, 1988 and 1983 confirm these results. Railroad machinists exhibited the highest risk of developing or dying from asbestos-related cancer in all the studies.
If you or a family member once worked in the railroad industry and have since been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma or lung cancer, contact Mesowatch immediately to receive immediate assistance.
You will also receive a free, confidential case evaluation from our nationwide team of experienced asbestos attorneys. With their knowledge and expertise, you will then quickly identify all liable parties and trust funds in order to pursue maximum compensation for your losses.