NYC Mesothelioma Lawyer Joseph Belluck Calls for Zero Tolerance of Workplace Asbestos
New York, NY, April 13, 2012 — New York mesothelioma lawyer Joseph W. Belluck today voiced support for an Environmental Health News editorial calling for the U.S. government to move toward a policy of carcinogen-free workplaces.
“We agree with the team of scholars who said that it is wrong for allowable cancer risks in the workplace to be greater than what’s considered acceptable for the general public,” said Belluck of New York City’s Belluck & Fox, LLP.
The nationally recognized New York City personal injury firm focuses on helping victims of mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the chest and abdomen caused by asbestos exposure.
“Working for a living should not be a lifelong gamble on your chance of contracting mesothelioma or some other kind of cancer,” Belluck said.
Four work environment and public health professors from the University of Massachusetts Lowell recently wrote the opinion piece.
The article calls for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to revise its occupational cancer policy.
The authors call for NIOSH to go beyond seeking reductions in workplace exposure to cancer-causing agents, such as asbestos. They ask NIOSH to adopt a zero-tolerance policy.
“It is wrong for a public health agency like NIOSH to sanction cancer risks to workers that are orders of magnitude greater than what is deemed acceptable for the general public,” the authors say in the March 9 op-ed. “A new federal policy, if thoughtfully redesigned, would not only prevent cancer among workers, but also protect the health of families and communities.”
Asbestos is a naturally occurring heat- and fire-resistant mineral fiber. It has been used in a variety of industrial and manufacturing machinery and equipment.
Belluck & Fox has won several major personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits involving injuries from asbestos exposure.
In August, the firm secured two separate verdicts in the Supreme Court of New York, New York County, which resulted in more than $51 million in combined damages. (Dummitt v. A.W. Chesterton, et al., No. 190196/10; Konstantin v. 630 Third Avenue Associates, et al., 090134/10).
Belluck said workers most likely to contract mesothelioma are those who had direct contact with asbestos in an industrial setting or a factory, such as pipefitters, electricians, plumbers, foundry workers, machinists and mechanics.
The Environmental Health News editorial describes the wife of a refinery electrician who contracted mesothelioma from washing her husband’s work clothes. Asbestos dust had covered the clothes.
“The idea that any worker contracts a fatal disease simply from showing up and doing their job every day should be absolutely unacceptable to the U.S. government and its citizens,” Belluck said.
Belluck said mesothelioma patients who think their disease has resulted from exposure to asbestos in the workplace may have a right to compensation for their losses, including pain and suffering.
“Mesothelioma is a deadly and costly disease,” the veteran New York attorney said. “We will continue to stand by those who are facing this disease.”
For more information, contact the firm at (877) 637-6843 or through the online contact form.