Occupational asbestos exposure is the number one cause of mesothelioma cancer. Asbestos has been used in thousands of products in the United States, and the manufacturing of those products puts employees’ health at risk.
For those that have worked in occupations exposed to asbestos, there’s an increased risk of developing related medical conditions. If you’ve received a cancer diagnosis, your best bet is to contact a lawyer from Frost Law Firm, PC. You may be eligible for compensation if negligence played a role in your asbestos exposure.
If you choose to file a claim, we’ll conduct a thorough investigation into your workplace to determine when, how, and why you were exposed to asbestos fibers. Once we have the evidence we need to build your claim, we can work on ensuring you receive the compensation you need for financial security.
History of Asbestos Exposure in Hawaii
Hawaii has a history of widespread asbestos use in public buildings and commercial establishments. Nearly every building in the state constructed prior to 1980 was built with asbestos products. This includes schools, state buildings, and military bases. Those who worked to construct the buildings were regularly exposed to asbestos, and it’s likely that a number of the facilities still pose a public health risk to people today.
While the Hawaii government has made efforts in recent years to protect its residents, that cannot change the damage that has already been done. For example, tons of asbestos were used on navy ships in the 1980s—like the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. This is because the insulation it provided was ideal for ships, as it was fireproof and waterproof. Other equipment on the ships was covered with asbestos block insulation, cloth, and pads. Because of that, both navy seaman and civilian shipyard workers were exposed to significant amounts of asbestos dust.
There are also a number of job sites throughout Hawaii with documented use of asbestos products. If you or a family member worked at one of the following locations, you may have been exposed to asbestos:
- Matson Container Station
- Vermiculite of Hawaii
- Hawaiian Commercial Sugar
- Pioneer Mill Co.
- Kauai Electric
- Yamada Transfer
- Matson SS Lines
- Pioneer Mill Co.
- Wailuku Plantation
If you worked at one of the facilities above and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, get in touch with our lawyers. It’s important to note that the list above is not comprehensive. If you believe you were exposed to asbestos at a different facility, we can investigate your situation.
Occupational Asbestos Exposure
Throughout the 20th century, asbestos was used in thousands of construction, commercial, and household products including fireproof coatings, concrete and cement, bricks, drywall, flooring, roofing, joint compound, paint, plastics, flowerpots, lawn furniture, hats, and gloves. As we’ve known for decades, asbestos exposure is proven to cause cancer like mesothelioma and other serious diseases.
Prior to asbestos safety regulations in the United States, workers in the following industries were likely to experience exposure:
- Construction. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 25 percent of people who die from asbestos exposure worked in the construction industry. Because roofing and flooring materials are commonly made with asbestos, demolition crews and home renovators are among the most at risk of asbestos exposure.
- Firefighting. When asbestos products catch fire, the fibers become airborne. This is problematic for firefighters because a lot of their equipment is made from asbestos—like protective clothing, helmets, and boots.
- Industrial work. Industrial workers like mechanics, foremen, trade laborers, machinery operators, and chemical workers are exposed to asbestos in paper, textiles, gaskets, insulation, and fireproofing.
- Power plants. It’s estimated that 33% of power plant workers have asbestos fibers in their mucus membranes. This is because the heat-resistant products that are most commonly used in this industry contain asbestos.
- Shipyards. Of those working in shipyards, boiler workers experience high exposure to asbestos. In the past, shipyard workers have been awarded multi-million dollar verdicts in lawsuits against asbestos product manufacturers because of occupational diseases.
Other workers at high risk of asbestos exposure include asbestos miners, boiler workers, insulators, factory workers, steel mill workers, and textile mill workers. If you were employed in any of the industries we’ve discussed and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, get in touch with our firm to find out about your legal rights and options.
Understanding Asbestos Regulations
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began regulating asbestos exposure in the workplace. While the measures helped limit the risk of workers developing exposure-related illnesses, the consequences of the lack of regulation prior are still present because of how long it takes for a disease like mesothelioma to develop.
In 1997, OSHA enacted a law that limited the level of asbestos to 0.1 fibers per cubic centimeter at any job site. Whenever asbestos is present, employers are required to provide their employees with safe working conditions, including protecting clothing and equipment.
In addition to that, Hawaii has its own asbestos regulations. To ensure companies and residences abide by the laws, the Hawaii Department of Health enforces the requirements and certifies experts to audit and certify service providers. The provider assists with inspections and asbestos abatement—which is the process of safely removing asbestos from an environment and repairing the area.
Protect Yourself with Frost Law Firm, PC
When you hire a Hawaii mesothelioma lawyer from Frost Law Firm, PC, we’ll work to ensure you receive justice. Employers that neglect to follow proper asbestos protocols wrongfully put their workers at risk of developing incurable diseases. If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you know just how terrifying and expensive the disease can be. Fortunately, you have the legal right to file a claim to seek compensation for your losses. We can help you recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Contact us today for more information.