Much of the asbestos exposures experienced by railroad workers in Michigan occurred in what was known as Roundhouses. Throughout the state of Michigan, roundhouses were locations where train cars were serviced, maintained, and repaired beginning in the late 19th century.
The types of asbestos products that railroad workers were exposed to changed significantly when diesel engines replaced steam in the mid-20th century. The use of Roundhouses for repair and maintenance continued throughout the 20th century. A few are still in use today.
Shipyard workers dedicate their careers to building ships primarily for industrial and military purposes. Unfortunately, what many shipbuilders don't realize or haven't been warned against is the fact that asbestos exposure on the job is perhaps the greatest work hazard they face, and they can be exposed constantly in their line of work.
Exposure to asbestos can lead to health complications and asbestos-related diseases decades after the exposure happens. One such disease is mesothelioma.
Asbestos exposure at work is one of the leading causes of mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other asbestos-related diseases among railroad workers. Asbestos, a known human carcinogen, can be found in old rail cars, in rail ties, in locomotives, and even in old railroad buildings. Exposure to asbestos fibers is serious, as they can get lodged in your lungs and cause issues years after exposure, as the dormancy stage is roughly 10-40 years.
Generations of workers across different industries have been exposed to asbestos and have developed asbestos-related diseases, including railroad workers. Because of the widespread use of asbestos in products from the 1920s through the 1980s, millions of people were exposed to this (now known) human carcinogen.