Toxic Railroad Exposure

Railroad workers are exposed to harm in other ways besides actual railroad accidents. In many cases, railroad workers are exposed to harmful chemicals that cause adverse neurological effects. Under the Federal Employees Liability Act (FELA), these workers may be eligible to obtain compensation for their railroad injuries and medical expenses.

Hydrocarbons and solvents
One common type of this damaging exposure comes in the form of hydrocarbons and solvent mixtures. While working in the rail pits, railroad workers inhale these substances and can develop peripheral neuritis.

This disorder is marked by an inflammation of the arms and legs. The fumes given off by these substances are toxic and can lead to more serious conditions such as brain damage.

Asbestos exposure, leading to mesothelioma
Cases have also emerged involving asbestos exposure and mesothelioma. Asbestos is another harmful substance railroad workers have found themselves exposed to, and these workers have developed lung problems. Unaware of the exposure, workers go on with their jobs while their condition develops and finally surfaces decades later.

While not always involving railroad workers, thousands of mesothelioma lawsuits have been filed against companies that knew the risk of asbestos but continued to let their employees work in unsafe environments. Doctors diagnose roughly 3,000 cases of mesothelioma each year. There is currently no cure for mesothelioma, and this form of cancer is most often fatal.

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