One of the severest types of pleural disease that affects workers is lung cancer. While there are a variety of causes, workplace exposure to dangerous substances is a possibility for offshore and harbor workers. Oil and gas workers are especially prone to this type of illness if exposed to unsafe levels of chemicals over a long period of time.
Crude oil, hydrogen sulfide gas, acid, benzene, and various other types of chemicals and substances are all potential for serious illnesses for maritime workers. There may even be asbestos present on some of these vessels and rigs. Since these chemicals are primarily toxic if inhaled, the lungs are at risk of becoming infected with cancer.
This particular type of cancer is localized to the lungs, but may be able to spread to other parts of the body. It occurs when cells grow at an uncontrolled pace in the lung tissue. Although tobacco smoking is the primary cause of this disease, there are still 10 to 15% of individuals with lung cancer who developed the disease from another source.
Statistics suggest that lung cancer is responsible for killing nearly 1.38 million people each year.
There are various symptoms of lung cancer that could be mistaken for a lesser disease upon first inspection. Symptoms may be similar to pneumonia, bronchitis, and even asthma. Other symptoms include weight loss, fever, extreme fatigue, wheezing, and aching bones. Primarily, since this cancer affects the lungs, the most severe symptoms will be breathing related. Different types of tumors will cause different variations of symptoms. Surprisingly, about 10% of lung cancer patients show no signs of the disease at the time of their diagnosis. These are typically cases of early detection where the cancer was accidentally discovered by a routine X-ray.
Again, smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. There are, however, many more potential causes. One of those causes is inhaling radon gas. Radon is a type of gas that is both colorless and odorless. When this substance decays, it produces genetic material that may cause mutations that lead to cancer in those who have been exposed to the substance. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) even many homes throughout the U.S. have radon levels above the recommended safe amount. This is the second leading cause of lung cancer.
Asbestos, air pollution, and a variety of other factors are the subsequent most common causes of lung cancer aside from genetic factors. For example, harbor workers are often responsible for the repair of ships. This can include stripping paint, repainting, and sealing. Exposure to materials even as seemingly harmless as paint, over long periods of time and without the proper protective gear, may lead to lung cancer.
Treatments will vary depending on what state the cancer has reached. If the lung cancer is not detected until its later stages, then extreme measures will have to be taken. You may be worried that you and your family cannot afford medical treatment to this degree, but this may not be entirely true. If you believe you or a loved one was exposed to a chemical which led to the lung cancer, then you may be able to attempt to get a settlement. Workers must be provided with a safe working environment as far as it is possible. This means that the employers must adhere to all federal and industry regulations.
Arnold & Itkin represented nearly a third of the crewmembers injured in the Deepwater Horizon explosion.
Because maritime law is so complex and so complicated, it is crucial that you work with an attorney who has an in-depth understanding of how it works and who has proven themselves in similar cases before.