Were you exposed to asbestos in your work with Galveston Docks Shipyard or its products? If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Keep reading to learn more about filing an asbestos claim against Galveston Docks Shipyard.
The Galveston Docks in Texas have been a key shipbuilding site for public and private entities ever since the Civil War. One important shipyard was Kane Shipbuilding, which profited from the First World War because of the need for new naval vessels. But the most important company was Todd Shipyards, which bought a tanker repair site in Galveston in 1934.
Between World War I and World War II, the shipyard was highly successful and busy, as Todd Shipyards started to use oil rather than coal as fuel. Galveston Docks became a major hub in World War II when the shipyard built hundreds of vessels for the US Navy. By the end of the war, Todd Shipyards had 57,000 workers and had manufactured 1,000 vessels. (asbestos.com)
The company continued to be successful after the war but started to decline in the 1980s. The Galveston shipyard was shuttered in 1990. Today, the port in Galveston is home to several other shipyards, shipping companies, and cruise lines.
Asbestos Exposure at Galveston Docks
Like most shipyards built in the early and mid 20th century, the Galveston Docks were constructed with large amounts of asbestos. It seemed to be a good choice for construction because it was cheap and abundant, and asbestos fibers are extremely strong and resistant to heat and fire.
Galveston Docks used asbestos for insulation, boilers, plumbing and in various buildings around the facility. However, in the 1970s, the EPA started to make strict regulations for the use of asbestos. It was at that time that it became fully understood that asbestos exposure could be fatal and causes diseases such as mesothelioma.
But many shipyards and construction sites still did not protect their workers enough from asbestos. Ventilation in shipyards was often poor. When materials containing asbestos broke down, employees in the area could inhale dangerous asbestos fibers.
Just as asbestos does not break down when it is used in construction, it rarely breaks down in the human body. The tiny particles stick in lung tissue and in the abdominal organs. Over the decades, cancer can develop. Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma, and many workers who were employed at Galveston Docks are at higher risk of developing health problems.
Shipyard Workers and the Risk of Mesothelioma
Galveston Docks was just one of the dozens of shipyards that put workers at risk of health problems throughout much of the 20th century. During the Depression in the early 1930s, asbestos use in the US was about 197 million pounds each year. This grew to 633 million pounds in 1937. During World War II, asbestos use was up to an average of 783 million pounds every year.
Up to 1,400 million pounds of asbestos were used in the US during the early Cold War era and started to decline in the mid-1970s. With the higher risk of asbestos use during wars, veterans who were in World War II are more likely to develop mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. (mesothelioma.com)
In addition to Navy personnel and Navy veterans, there have been many other employees at Galveston Docks and other shipyards that have been exposed to asbestos. These include shipbuilders, maintenance workers, and repair workers.
Studies Confirm Shipyard Workers Have Higher Asbestos Health Problems
Many clinical studies have shown that shipyard workers, such as at Galveston Docks, have a higher risk of mesothelioma and other health problems. For example, an NIH study from 2007 stated that the fact that workers from US shipyards have higher levels of diffuse stage 4 malignant mesothelioma from exposure form 1950 to 1964 is not surprising.
In a study of 4,700 men and women who build ships in that period, it was observed that they had excessive deaths from mesothelioma and respiratory cancer. These deaths were largely attributed to high levels of asbestos fibers at shipyards in the United States. (NIH.gov)
SEE ALSO: Asbestos Death Claims Payout Timeline
The study also states that occupational health experts in the US knew of some of the dangers of asbestos and warned about it as early as the 1940s. But the US government and society did not understand how durable asbestos fibers are in the body and how dangerous they are.
It was not until scientists reported higher rates of asbestos disease in shipyard workers in the United Kingdom, the US, and the Netherlands in the 1960s that shipyards such as the Galveston Docks started to take the risk of asbestos exposure more seriously.
Another study completed by the Ulster Medical Society in 2008 showed that shipyard workers have a higher mortality rate from an asbestosis diagnosis. In fact, the death rate is 16 times higher than any other occupation. Many asbestosis deaths found in the study were on the East and West coasts, which is where most shipbuilding is performed. (NIH.gov)
Get Mesothelioma Legal Help
If you were a worker at Galveston Shipyard and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the shipyard or the companies that supplied the facility with asbestos-containing materials. With over $30 billion available for victims through the Asbestos Trust Funds, you could be entitled to financial compensations without ever filing a lawsuit. Mesothelioma & Lung Cancer victims qualify immediately. Complete the form or call us toll free (800) 352-0871