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Railroad Workers Exposed to Many Cancer-Causing Materials

Joseph Meaney3 years ago

cargo train on railroad tracks

Men and women who work for the railroads are frequently exposed to dangerous hazards, including cancer-causing chemicals and materials.

Railroad Cancer Lawsuits Growing

Workers who suffered from injuries while working for the railroad are required to file lawsuits under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). FELA gives injured workers the right to sue railroad companies for negligence that causes injuries, including the exposure to toxic, cancer-causing substances.

In addition, there is no cap on damages in FELA lawsuits due to the often serious or deadly nature of railroad-related injuries.

In 1982, a jury  awarded $58 million to 47 railroad workers due to an exposure to a cancer-causing toxin. The workers were exposed to dioxin, a carcinogenic chemical that can cause cancer in amounts as little as 5 parts per trillion, according to The New York Times.

A multiple-decade study showed that railroad workers that operated trains were at a 40% higher risk of developing lung cancer than those that did not operate trains. Diesel exhaust produces a carcinogenic chemical, benzene, which can cause lung cancer.

About Railroad-related Cancers and Injuries

Hundreds of workers sustain injuries or die due to railroad hazards each year. Railroad companies are required to provide a safe workplace to all of their employees. This includes necessary safety equipment, tools, training, and enforcement of safety regulations.

There are many cancers related to railroad work, including:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Bone Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lung Cancer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Skin Cancer


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