any ships and vessels contain hazardous substances such as asbestos, paints containing lead, other heavy metals like cadmium and arsenic, biocides, as well as electrical and other materials containing polychlorinated biphenyl’s (PCBs) and other chemical ships and barges contain hazardous cargo. The newer ships built since the early 1980’s usually do not have any asbestos or lead paint and reduced amounts of other dangerous heavy metals. Unfortunately, most seaman do not have a choice of which ships they must sail on.
As a result of years of working on many of these older ships, a seaman’s health condition starts to fail from years of toxic exposures. Asbestos exposure may result in asbestosis, lung cancer and even the deadly mesothelioma. Also general ship repair, sandblasting, rust chipping and painting operations add to the likelihood of increased exposure to lead paint, solvents and dangerous silica dust. Sandblastingoperations aboard ships, either at sea or in the shipyards has caused thousands to contract silicosis from the free silica dust.
If you or a loved one has been recently been diagnosed with silicosis, asbestosis, asbestos lung cancer, or mesothelioma while onboard a ship, then you may have a legal action for your injuries and damages under the Jones Act, general maritime laws or other applicable laws or remedies.