Drilling Mud From Long Ago and Mesothelioma

Back in the 1960s,70s and the early 80s Drilling Mud presented unknown dangers:

One of the most used drilling mud additives back then was known as Flosal.

Flosal would be delivered to the well site in 50 lb bags and was a white fibrous powder. Basically the mud engineer or his helpers would oversee the dumping of these 50 pound bags into the mixing hopper. Back then, the air above and around the mixer was full of particles floating around everywhere – most everyone was covered in that stuff.

It is important to understand that safety is a much bigger issue today than it was back then.

In fact there was very little safety equipment back then; in fact, the only time oil field workers wore goggles was when they were tasked with mixing caustic soda.

Years later it was learned that Flosal contained 85-95 percent asbestos and was designed and manufactured as a drilling mud additive to help adjust the viscosity or liquidity or thickness of the mud.

The ingredient was called Viscosifier, and it was used to increase the viscosity of (to thicken) drilling mud fluids.

In one recent lawsuit PHILLIPS 66 CO. v. LOFTON (94 So.3d 1051 (2012), a jury found in favor of plaintiff Troy Lofton, who claimed he suffered asbestosis as a result of exposure to Flosal.

It is important to understand that Mesothelioma, does not present itself for 20 to 30 years.

Now Mud and the additive Flosal is back in the News, for those exposed to this additive are now being diagnosed with Meso.

There is little doubt that this asbestos drilling mud was a bad idea, the question is whether the drilling mud manufacturers knew the hazards and did they fail to share that knowledge with drilling mud users, i.e. the oil field workers of the 60s, 70s and 80s.

And when there is a drilling mud problem, how much liability would the manufacturer have versus that of the contractor responsible for the facility undertaking the drilling in the first place?

It is now very clear that Asbestos was the base ingredient in many asbestos drilling mud formulations. And it is undisputed that this specific drilling mud additive came in a powder form and it is undisputed that powered additives provided the most potent environment for asbestos health issues, as free-floating asbestos fibers are known to be the most dangerous of all asbestos contamination.

It remains unclear of the exact number of oil field workers and other individuals in the oil industry and their family members that were exposed to Flosal and other such products in the 60s, 70s and 80s and of those exposed who have run into the Mesothelioma diagnosis?

Today, certain oil industry executives are crossing their figures that the question of who was exposed back then will go unanswered and they hope that no one comes forward with information on who worked with this product known as Flosal and have lung issues, pulmonary issues, COPD, asbestosis or Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer.  It affects the lining of the cavities around the lungs, stomach and heart.  Most cases of Mesothelioma are related to asbestos exposure.  Some of the occupations that exposed workers to asbestos directly or indirectly are those involving carpentry, demolition, factory work, insulation, shipbuilding, installation of brake linings in vehicles, and many others.  Despite efforts to eliminate asbestos from our environment, many public and private buildings still contain asbestos today.

The early symptoms of Mesothelioma are generally nonspecific, and may lead to a delay in diagnosis.  The first symptoms of Mesothelioma are often shortness of breath, chest pain, fever, cough, nausea, pain in abdomen, or anemia.  All of these symptoms are also caused by less serious illnesses, which make it difficult to recognize the disease in its early stages.  If you have worked with or been exposed to asbestos you should get screened, even if you do not feel sick now.  Call us now and we can help.

There is no certain cure for malignant Mesothelioma; however, medical researchers have recently developed procedures that can slow the progress of the disease and extend, with quality, the lives of those suffering from it.  The treatment options for Mesothelioma depend on many factors, including: where the cancer is, the stage of the cancer, how far the cancer has spread, how the cancer cells look under the microscope, and the patient’s age and desires.  Mesothelioma is treatable when diagnosed early.

If you or a loved one was exposed to asbestos at work, you may be able to claim compensation from the employer at the time of the exposure.  Of course, no one is suggesting that anything can truly compensate you for being affected by Mesothelioma, but it may be helpful for you and your family to have some extra funds to fall back on. 

At Carabin & Shaw, P.C., we understand it can be very difficult to cope with a diagnosis of Mesothelioma both practically and emotionally.  Our firm in association with other law firms fight for workers and consumers injured from toxic exposures including those suffering from injuries related to asbestos, malignant Mesothelioma and lung cancer, as well as benzene, manganese, beryllium and other hazardous substances. 

Our goal is to obtain the highest possible compensation for injured workers and their families.  Please contact us you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer or Mesothelioma. Call our Law Firm, we can help. Call 1.800.862.1260.

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