Fort Lauderdale is not a major manufacturing center and no substantial naturally-occurring asbestos deposits are located nearby. Yet, the city was founded and developed during a time when industries used asbestos in massive quantities. Many residents are at risk of being diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses such as asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma, and thousands of former Fort Lauderdale workers now live with the devastating effects of prolonged exposure to asbestos.
If you or someone you love have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may qualify for substantial compensation. We invite you to fill out our form today for a free Financial Compensation Packet, filled with information about top mesothelioma lawyers in your area, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file an asbestos trust fund claim, and much more.
Fort Lauderdale and Asbestos
Since Fort Lauderdale is situated halfway between Miami and Palm Beach, it became a developed community in part because the Florida East Coast Railroad passed through the area. Transportation and construction companies set up shop in the city to build the hotels, houses, businesses, schools, and businesses to attract tourists and new residents.
Since asbestos was widely used in many of the construction materials and finished products at the time, many people from all walks of life were exposed to the fibrous minerals. Initially. most of those who were constantly in contact with asbestos were construction workers, railroad company employees, and close relatives.
Later, as utilities companies and light manufacturing enterprises built power stations and local industrial sites, electrical workers and skilled laborers faced prolonged exposure to asbestos.
Fort Lauderdale Job Sites Connected to Asbestos
Fort Lauderdale, unlike Miami and other coastal Florida communities, is not a major industrial center. Its economy is largely driven by tourism, and much of the city’s infrastructure is centered on transportation. Its major airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, is currently ranked 21st in the nation in total passenger traffic and 13th in domestic origin and destination passengers.
Along with the smaller North Perry general aviation facility, Fort-Lauderdale-Hollywood handles an estimated 23 million passengers a year. Many of them are vacationers going to nearby Port Everglades, a popular cruise ship and general shipping port.
Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale
World War II resulted in military installations in Fort Lauderdale. South Florida’s location on the Atlantic coast and year-round warm weather it ideal for training military personnel The Navy set up Naval Air Station (NAS) Fort Lauderdale to provide aviation training for Navy pilots and crewmen.
The Navy also had a Naval Air Station Boat Facility and the Fort Lauderdale Navy Section Base, while the Coast Guard operated Fort Lauderdale Coast Guard Station. These facilities all were located in nearby Port Everglades.
Like most military installations of the era, NAS Fort Lauderdale and its supporting facilities were either built with construction materials that contained asbestos or housed aircraft, vehicles, and vessels made with asbestos-containing materials. Consequently, thousands of men and women assigned to Fort Lauderdale during the war were exposed to asbestos. Many of these veterans developed asbestos-related mesothelioma and other illnesses 20, 30, 40, and even 50 years later.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
After the war, the Navy decommissioned NAS Fort Lauderdale, which had been built on the site of the city’s Merle Fogg Airport. It resumed commercial aviation operations as Broward County International Airport in 1946; after the completion of the permanent terminal in 1959, it was given its current name, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Asbestos was used in large quantities during the construction and modernization of the terminal, and it was also present in airplanes, ground vehicles, maintenance areas, and other parts of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood. Asbestos was even woven into the fabric of firefighters’ emergency clothing, including outer jackets, trousers, and safety gloves to help make them fire-resistant.
Unfortunately, these asbestos fibers were friable and prone to get airborne. Once in the air, these fibers could be inhaled and introduced into a person’s airways or digestive tract, where they often triggered the onset of asbestosis, lung cancer, or malignant mesothelioma.
Port Everglades is one of the busiest ports in the U.S. It is the world’s third largest cruise ship port; in the 2013-2014 winter cruise season over 40 passenger ships sailed to and Port Everglades. Additionally, Port Everglades receives over 4,000 container ship calls a year, and is the South Florida region’s main port for receiving petroleum-based fuels such as gasoline, jet fuel, diesel oil and kerosene.
Port Everglades started in 1928. Most of its original structures, including warehouses, passenger terminals, fuel bunkers, pipelines, and oil storage tanks contained large amounts of asbestos. Asbestos exposure in Port Everglades became a long-lasting workplace safety issue for port workers and seamen alike.
The port also handled vessels that also contained considerable amounts of asbestos, placing more lives at risk and contributing to the current increase in mesothelioma and asbestosis cases.
Other Fort Lauderdale Job Sites Linked to Asbestos Exposure
Fort Lauderdale’s growth and development coincided with the peak period of asbestos use by construction companies and other industries, including such utility companies as Florida Power & Light. During booming economic periods as well as in hard times such as the Great Depression of the 1930s, most of the city’s public buildings, hospitals, apartment buildings, hotels, and single family houses were built with materials laden with asbestos fibers.
The following are among many of the job sites and public facilities where asbestos was used:
- Broward General Hospital
- Good Samaritan Hospital
- Holy Cross Hospital
- North Shore Hospital
- Fort Lauderdale High School
- Dillard High School
- Stranahan High School
- South Broward High School
- Plantation Middle School
- Deerfield Beach Elementary School
- Burdine’s (now Macy’s)
Insulation and Construction Materials
- North Brothers, Incorporated
- Florida insulation & Fireproof
- Lakeview Siding
- Southern Bell (BellSouth/AT&T)
- Florida Power & Light (FPL)
Asbestos Related Cancer Treatment Centers in Florida
The Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa is the only cancer treatment facility designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as a Comprehensive Care Cancer Center. As one of the 41 NCI-designated centers in the U.S., Moffitt’s primary mission is to develop new research techniques and treatments for cancers of the lungs, including mesothelioma.
Contact Information for Moffitt Cancer Center:
12902 USF Magnolia Drive
University of South Florida, USF Health
Tampa, Florida, 33612
Getting Legal Help in Fort Lauderdale
As previously mentioned, if you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be entitled to compensatory damages. Remember to fill out our form to get your free Financial Compensation Packet, with information on top asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers in your area. If you have questions or need assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.