The marine industry is a part of the global economic trade industry and involves both civilians and military employees from hundreds of countries. However, that doesn’t mean that the maritime industry is free of risks.
Over the years, studies have been performed to demonstrate the risks of working in the maritime industry; one of the biggest threats to an employee’s health is lung cancer and other lung-related diseases.
The Nature of Working In The Maritime Industry
The risk factors associated with occupations in the nautical sphere are amongst the highest of any working and/or living conditions for employees in the modern age. Shipbuilders are twice as likely to die from lung cancer than any other disease or cause of death. Good maritime accident attorneys become involved in the process, especially after doctors have formulated their diagnoses.
Lung Cancer Risks From Chemical Exposure
The biggest risk to maritime workers comes in the form of carcinogens that are present during the process of building ships. This is because small ground particles of metal, silica, and asbestos are present in the air and end up being inhaled by shipbuilders when they’re not wearing proper face protection. Some of the other hazardous chemicals that contribute to the risk of lung cancer also include fumigants, sulfur, oil mist, cadmium, and lead.
The Risks Spread To Non-Maritime Workers
Because these particles are so small, any strong wind can carry them away from the shipbuilding yard to other nearby areas, including residential neighbourhoods. The fuel burned by these ships also releases large cloud stacks that can be inhaled by anyone nearby; oftentimes, these smokestacks are rife with nitrogen, sulfur, and black carbon, which are hazardous to a person’s health. In fact, more than 400,000 people fall victim to premature death or lung cancer as a result of maritime industry pollution.
Lung Cancer Risks From Physical Agents
Physical agents are a much rarer source of lung cancer, but can still increase a person’s risk of developing it. These physical agents come from energy sources, and include NIR (non-ionizing radiation), UV (ultraviolet), radiofrequency, and MW (microwaves). These physical agents are more prevalent on submarines and military ships, but they have been known to accidentally point their equipment at a passing ship, resulting in a variety of side effects to the crews onboard.
How Lawsuits and Workers’ Compensation Get Involved
Even with all of the studies that have been done to prove the nature of maritime employment, governments have been slow to ban the use of these materials to protect the health and safety of maritime workers. Instead, the companies themselves are held responsible for any occupational exposure and are forced to pay out to those employees who develop lung diseases or cancer.
If you’re involved or were involved in the maritime industry and you’ve been diagnosed with lung cancer or any other lung disease, you should call an attorney immediately to discuss your case. You may be eligible for workers’ compensation or a lawsuit to help you pay for your future lost wages and medical bills.