A New Mexico congressman may file a lawsuit against the Los Alamos National Laboratory because of an asbestos-related cancer he recently contracted. Rep. Ray Ruiz of Albuquerque believes his diagnosis of mesothelioma, which will eventually require the removal of a lung, is due to direct exposure to asbestos
during his 10 years with Los Alamos. Ruiz says he mixed hazardous materials by hand while making lead shields for bomb testing during the 1960s and 1970s.
According to the EPA, asbestos "presents an unreasonable risk of injury to human health," as inhaling the fibers greatly increases the odds of contracting asbestosis
, lung cancer
, gastrointestinal cancer, and other cancers
. Furthermore, EPA has called asbestos a "highly potent carcinogen" that causes "severe health effects after even short-term, high-level or longer-term, low-level exposure."
It may be advisable to see your doctor if you believe you were exposed to asbestos while working at the Los Alamos facility. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney
who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits
within which you must commence suit.
- Specific Contaminated Sites
- Asbestosis: Overview
- Lung & Airway Disorders
- Lung Cancer: Overview