Pearl Harbor

If you lived through the 1940s, the name “Pearl Harbor” might still bring up fear and anger. On December 7, 1941, a surprise Japanese attack on the naval base in Hawaii sent the United States into World War II. If you’ve been living through the early years of the 21st century, the name “Pearl Harbor” might still bring the same reaction. However, this time the problem is a different kind of fear. This time, the fear stems from an important construction material.

During World War II, the base at Pearl Harbor became an important U.S. naval shipyard … and asbestos became an important part of its operation. It was used in products manufactured at the base and placed in such key ship parts as boilers, generators, turbines, and steam pipes. Over the years, as products containing this material wore out, they were replaced … again with the same material. As the demand for such products grew, so did the unrecognized or ignored danger. However, over the years as any of this type of product was used or changed or sawed or cut, these fibers were released into the surrounding air and settled on unprotected workers and even their family members. The unrecognized or ignored danger continued while the contamination from such products also continued.

By the time that harm from this material, such as rising cases of cancer, was recognized, many shipyard workers had already been infected. Mesothelioma, for instance, is a type of cancer that attacks tissue around the lungs and may produce chest pain through the rib cage and shortness of breath. The incidence of this deadly ailment has been rising in the United States since the 1960s.

The first lawsuit on the use of this product was filed in 1978 for a former electrician at the naval shipyard. Since that time, the U.S. Navy has been renovating asbestos-containing structures with the aim of getting rid of the dangerous contamination. In 2011, construction began on a $15 million support facility that is dedicated to being free form the dangers and deaths caused by asbestos products.

If you have concerns about being exposed to any of these materials, seek medical aid and talk to one of the concerned lawyers in your area. Trust funds to help to compensate workers and others who are dealing with these medical problems have been organized. Call today and find out if you qualify for aid. Call today and let us help.


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