WORKERS’ COMPENSATION JUDGE LINKS LUNG CANCER TO DIESEL EXHAUST EXPOSURE
The Wall Street Journal recently reported a landmark decision in August 2014 by a workers’ compensation judge in New York who found that a bus mechanic’s exposure to diesel exhaust contributed to the development of his lung cancer and resulting death. According to the Journal, the judge’s finding “has rattled lawyers who defend big employers.” See “Diesel-Exposure Claims Find a Legal Path,” Wall Street Journal (September 6, 2014). Although attempts to hold diesel engine manufacturers accountable in courts have been less than successful, studies have shown that short term-exposure to diesel exhaust can cause dizziness and respiratory irritation, headaches, light-headedness, to name a few, and long-term exposure to diesel engine exhaust increases the risk of developing lung cancer. In fact, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recently concluded that diesel engine exhaust is carcinogenic to humans. The IARC experts found there was sufficient evidence that diesel exhaust is a cause of lung cancer and also possibly associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer (based on limited scientific evidence). Approximately 1.4 million workers in the United States are occupationally exposed to engine exhaust. Such exposure can occur in many occupational settings, including mining, railroad, construction and transportation industries. See our blog earlier this year on diesel exposure in the railroad industry. If you are experiencing any medical complications caused by repeated and long term exposure to diesel engine exhaust, and would like to speak to an attorney, please contact us today. The dedicated lawyers and paralegals at Wallace & Graham P.A. in Salisbury, NC are experienced in handling occupational illnesses and have focused on lung diseases cause by occupational exposures. Please feel free to contact Wallace & Graham at 800.849.5291 for a free confidential consultation about your rights and remedies under the law. We can help.
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