Louisiana Asbestos-Related Deaths from 1999-2017
Asbestos Exposure in Louisiana
Asbestos in Oil Refineries
Louisiana is home to many oil refineries because of its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. Asbestos is known for its heat resistant properties which made it a common insulation material so refineries could protect the highly flammable oil. Oil refineries often used asbestos materials to insulate pipes and tanks. The pervasive use of asbestos in these facilities means workers were likely exposed to asbestos and could be at risk for developing asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
Shipyards and Asbestos Exposure
Louisiana’s coastline means it is also home to several shipyards where asbestos was frequently used. Shipbuilders and shipyard workers may have been exposed to asbestos while building and repairing commercial and naval ships. Asbestos-containing materials were used to insulate pipes, boilers, and other high heat machinery on ships. When workers had to repair or replace this equipment, asbestos fibers would become airborne and inhaled by those nearby. Inhaling asbestos fibers is extremely hazardous and can lead to the development of deadly diseases. Workers should monitor their health for respiratory illnesses.
First responders in Louisiana were exposed to asbestos during the rescue and recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina hit the state hard in 2005. Floodwaters and high winds from the hurricane destroyed buildings that contained asbestos materials sending asbestos fibers into the air. Many other individuals were exposed to asbestos during the cleanup and rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Some older buildings had asbestos in the insulation, ceiling and floor tiles, and shingles, but many workers and volunteers did not take the proper safety precautions when cleaning up debris.
Vermiculite and Asbestos
Oil refineries, building debris, shipyards, chemical plants, and paper mills are not the only sources of asbestos exposure for Louisiana residents. The state was also home to the W.R. Grace Company from the 1960s to 1980s. The facility received several tons of asbestos-containing vermiculite from Libby, Montana. It then processed the asbestos-contaminated vermiculite to make attic insulation and other industrial products. Workers and residents near the facility were exposed to toxic asbestos fibers. W.R. Grace ended operations at the facility in the 1990s, but low levels of asbestos were detected at the facility and in the soil around the building years later.
Partial list of work sites in Louisiana with known asbestos exposure
Statute of Limitations to File Mesothelioma Claim in Louisiana
There is a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit for mesothelioma that varies for each state called the statute of limitations. This means if you do not file within the time limit, you will never be able to pursue legal action or obtain compensation. It’s important that you take legal action within this time frame so you do not miss out on receiving the compensation you may deserve. Contact us here to learn more about how we can help.
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What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a deadly and rare form of malignant cancer that is caused by asbestos exposure. The most common forms of mesothelioma are: pleural and peritoneal. Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the lining of the abdominal cavity.
Victims with pleural mesothelioma may have respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue. Victims with peritoneal mesothelioma may have abdominal swelling, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss.
The latency period for mesothelioma is very long. The average latency period is about 30 years, but can be shorter than 15 years or longer than 40 years. This means individuals with mesothelioma may take decades to present symptoms from the time they were exposed to asbestos.
What is asbestosis?
Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease caused by asbestos exposure. When asbestos is inhaled the fibers irritate and scar the lining of the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. The lungs become stiff and cannot expand and contract normally. Symptoms of asbestosis are shortness of breath, chest pain, and a dry, persistent cough. Like mesothelioma, the latency period for asbestosis is very long. Symptoms may not present for 10 to 40 years after asbestos exposure.
Military Asbestos Exposure
It is extremely important to know that our attorneys do not sue the military. We seek accountability from the asbestos companies that sold dangerous asbestos products to the military.
Members of all branches of the military may have been exposed to asbestos before it became more restricted in the 1970s. The U.S. military used asbestos products in many areas because of its low cost, durability, and heat resistant properties. The common use of these asbestos products put many U.S. veterans at risk of developing asbestos related diseases, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Below is a list of the military branches and common asbestos exposure sites:
- Navy – shipyards, boiler rooms, submarines
- Army – barracks, shipyards, construction
- Marine Corps – armored vehicles, barracks, ships, aircraft
- Coast Guard – inside ships, ships, boiler rooms
- Air Force- bases, airplanes, jets, aircraft maintenance