Located in South Carolina, the Carolina Shipping Company was once a stevedoring and manpower agency. Created in 1927, the businesses operate in a variety of locations on the eastern coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico. Once it was taken over by the Biehl International Company of Houston, the business began operating solely in the steamboat industry. After a period of working with steamships, Carolina Shipping Company began dabbling in the cargo ship market as well. Eventually the business became one of the leading shipping outfits within the US.
Due to an immense operational facility that services, created and maintained boats, the outfit required many employees. Common shipbuilding and maintaining practices of the early to mid 20th century required the use of asbestos. In those times, the material was thought to be a cheap and effective material to use on boats. Though it was becoming suspect as a dangerous chemical, it wouldn’t be until the later part of the century that it would be banned by the Federal Government. During its time of mainstream use, many shipbuilding employees across the US commonly used it with no protective equipment.
When working with asbestos, it is common for dust to be released into the air. Once workes inhale the carcinogen, it travels to and remains in the protective membranes around their heart, lungs and stomachs. Even individuals that only were exposed to second hand particulates may be at risk. After decades of residing in a person’s body, the material can begin to degrade normally functioning cells. This can eventually lead to diseases like asbestosis and Mesothelioma.
Though rare, there have been many shipyard workers that developed these diseases. Many who have been exposed will not develop any symptoms at all. Those that do are at risk for many complications that could potentially be life threatening. Once mesothelioma has developed, if it goes undetected the cancer cells can begin to spread to other parts of the body. Being able to correlate previous exposure with current symptoms is essential for being able to properly treat the disease.