In a recent report issued by the Centers for Disease Control, Pennsylvania and New Jersey were listed as two of the six U.S. states with the highest rate of mesothelioma cases across our nation. Maine, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Washington were also included on the list. The common link found between these states was their industry, specifically shipbuilding, mining, and manufacturing. For New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, which was established in 1776 as the first Naval shipyard in the United States, presents a clear link to the current high rate of mesothelioma cases in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Though the U.S. Navy ceased operations in 1995, the shipyard built 53 ships, repaired over 500 additional ships, and employed 40,000 people in the post World War II era, when asbestos exposure was most prevalent among those working in the industry. Asbestos containing products were used primarily in the years from 1950 through 1980 because of its insulation and heat resistant properties. Those working in naval shipyards, mines, manufacturing, and construction industries during this period were heavily exposed to the toxic fibers, most being uninformed and unaware of the dangers associated with the mineral.
When asbestos fibers become airborne and inhaled into the lungs, the toxic fibers can lay dormant for a period of up to 50 years. For those exposed to asbestos before the late 1980’s, when it was essentially banned from use, the latency period could be responsible for the current high rate of mesothelioma cases in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Other industries, such as manufacturing plants, chemical plants, oil refineries, steel mills, railroad repair yards, automotive repair shops, and construction sites are also considered trades at risk for past, current, and future exposure.
All employers are responsible for providing a safe workplace for their employees. Those who fail to properly inform their workers of the inherent risks associated with asbestos exposure, or fail to provide proper safe handling training and protective work equipment can be held liable for those diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos related diseases.
Many past employees of shipyards and industries throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey were unknowingly exposed to asbestos during the period between 1950 and 1980. For those who fall victim to these deadly diseases, help is available through the competent and reliable New Jersey and Pennsylvania asbestos attorneys at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and you were employed in one of the known high risk industries for asbestos exposure, compensation may be available for you and your family. Our asbestos attorneys can help you seek justice. Call us today at 215-569-4000 or fill out our online contact form to set up a consultation. The Philadelphia mesothelioma attorneys at our firm will provide you with experienced and knowledgeable counsel and representation.