A recent study conducted in Italy found that former shipyard workers have just as high a risk of developing mesothelioma regardless of how long they worked in the shipyard. These findings were based on a study of Italian shipbuilders who were diagnosed with mesothelioma and similar conditions between 1996 and 2015. The study examined the length of time each worker involved was exposed to asbestos and the amount of asbestos that remained in their bodies years after leaving the shipbuilding profession. Nearly 200 workers were studied and researchers found that on average, the workers were exposed to asbestos in their workplaces for 24 years. Moreover, those who developed mesothelioma developed its symptoms 31 years after their final exposure.
Mesothelioma is characterized by its long latency period, which can be anywhere from 20 to 50 years. These are the years that the asbestos fibers in an individual’s body remain dormant before causing them to suffer symptoms of mesothelioma.
Shipyard workers are at a higher risk because asbestos could be found in nearly all areas of ships and shipyards through most of the 20th century. Current and former shipyard workers have a higher likelihood of developing mesothelioma, as are any others who worked on ships, such as individuals who served in the Navy. Even those who entered the profession after asbestos was largely banned from new ships and buildings in the 1980s are at risk because many of these individuals work with older ships regularly. Some workers provide service and maintenance to old ships while others, known as shipbreakers, are exposed to asbestos fibers while dismantling decommissioned ships.
If you work in a shipyard or any other environment where asbestos exposure is an occupational hazard, speak with your supervisor about minimizing your risk of exposure by investing in safety equipment like negative-pressure respirators. Spend as little time in the presence of the asbestos as you can and immediately after your shift, take off your work clothing and wash it, then shower immediately.
If you are suffering from mesothelioma or any other condition related to asbestos exposure, contact our team of experienced Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler to pursue compensation for your damages through an asbestos exposure claim. Complete our online form or call us at 1-215-569-4000 or toll-free at 1-800-369-0899 to schedule your initial legal consultation in our offices. We proudly serve clients from Philadelphia County, Chester County, Delaware County, and New Jersey.