Each year, American railroads transport 30 million travelers to their destinations and move 1.6 billion tons of freight, including food, lumber, crude oil, grain, vehicles, chemicals, crushed stone, metal ore, and many other products. Railroad transportation of both people and goods is essential to our American way of life. However, each day, the railroad workers who keep the system on track are exposed to materials that put them at an increased risk of developing cancer in the future.
Who Is at Risk for Railroad Workers Cancer?
This risk amongst railroad workers of developing cancer doesn’t impact just one or two types of railroad jobs; it can affect conductors, brakemen, firefighters, shop workers, yardmasters, pipefitters, sheet metal workers, trackmen, and several others. Some of the main substances that have been linked to cancer risk are:
- Railroad ties treated with creosote
- Lead paint on equipment, bridges, and other structures
- Welding fumes
- Herbicides (weed-killing chemicals) applied around train tracks
- Asbestos, which can be found in pipe insulation, electrical panels, and brake shoe lining
- Silica dust that arises from the silica sand used for traction on the tracks, as well as exposure to ballast (the granite gravel spread around the railroad bed)
- Exhaust from diesel engines
- Equipment cleaning solvents
These substances are associated with a wide range of cancers, including:
- Multiple myeloma
These harmful materials can also cause non-cancerous health problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) and asbestosis. A railroad worker’s risk level depends on the amount and type of substance they were exposed to and how many years the exposure lasted.
Prevention and Early Detection Are Key
When it comes to protecting yourself or a loved one who works for the railroads, experts suggest many of the same recommendations for firefighters and people in other careers with increased cancer risk.
- Determine the types of carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) to which you could have been exposed. If you aren’t sure, law firms in your area can help you. They’ve performed the research, and they know when and where these types of exposures occurred.
- Report persistent coughs to your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
- Get an annual physical from your primary care physician, including a lung function test and blood tests to detect early-stage blood cancers or problems with kidney function.
- Pay attention to body changes such as changes in your breathing, coughing up blood, a change in urinary habits (especially blood in your urine), unusual fatigue, and any pain that won’t go away.
- Find out if you’re eligible for lung cancer screening programs in your area.
- Don’t smoke and if you need help quitting, get help.
What If You Receive a Cancer Diagnosis?
If you receive a cancer diagnosis that could be linked to your employment as a railroad worker, you have legal rights. You could be protected under The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). This law was created in 1908 to protect and provide compensation to railroad workers suffering from work-related injuries. For more than a century, it has held railroad employers liable for their negligent behavior, causing workers to sustain injuries such as developing cancer. Finding an experienced FELA lawyer is your first step in seeking justice for your injuries.
Do You Have a Cancer Diagnosis and Financial Concerns?
A recent cancer diagnosis can require you to quit your job or take a significant leave of absence. At the same time, you are likely incurring thousands of dollars in medical bills. Additional bills and decreased income are a recipe for financial disaster. Your financial future may seem bleak, but there is help if you are pursuing an injury claim for your diagnosis.
If you have hired an attorney and are awaiting a settlement for your injuries, you could be eligible for pre-settlement funding. At USClaims, we help injury victims who face serious financial issues before receiving a settlement.
We buy a portion of an injury victim’s anticipated settlement and provide them with cash now. They can use this cash to pay for bills and expenses that can’t wait, or anything else for which they need money. Once they receive compensation, we receive the money back and any accrued interest.
Get the process started by applying online or calling us at 1-877-USCLAIMS today. We know that injured people who need money now don’t have the time or energy for long applications or lengthy funding processes. We only need some information about your claim and your attorney’s contact information to begin processing your pre-settlement funding application.