The fact that microscopic asbestos fibers caused mesothelioma and asbestos-lung cancer may have come as a shock generations ago, but scientists and safety regulators have known for decades that other airborne particulates carry the same risk. With substantial profits to be gained through the use of these products, however, there continues to be resistance to regulation -- or even to appropriate safety measures being taken.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, or NIOSH, just completed a major study on the risk faced by firefighters of contracting mesothelioma and other cancers. Unfortunately, the study found the group suffers from all forms of cancer at a higher rate than the national average. And, for the first time, the study documented the long-suspected increased risk of mesothelioma among firefighters.
Scripps News recently released the results of an extensive, nationwide investigation into allegations that some victims of illnesses caused by asbestos and other pollutants were experiencing suspicious delays in the payment of their compensation. Surprisingly, the first thing Scripps learned was that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is one of the biggest players in toxic pollution litigation.
Five years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a New York City police detective died of respiratory failure caused by exposure to toxic chemical fumes at Ground Zero. Tragically, an unknown number of others who lived near or responded to the emergencies at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, have also died from toxic exposure.
On our mesothelioma law blog, we focus almost exclusively on the risks facing contractors, construction workers, insulation installers, shipyard and railroad employees and other workers who are exposed to asbestos over the course of their employment. We do not often focus on the people who live near a mine or other source of asbestos, and who are therefore exposed to the deadly fibers on a daily basis and, often, without knowledge of that exposure.
The link between asbestos exposure and lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis is well-documented, having been proven both by medical tests and by the thousands of people who succumb to these debilitating diseases every year. For many years, researchers have been working to prove their theory that exposure to asbestos is linked to a greater risk for ovarian cancer.