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Asbestos Dangers for Veterans

  • Synopsis: Published: 2009-03-25 (Rev. 2013-06-18) - Veterans and service personnel may risk asbestos exposure which leads to many diseases including mesothelioma. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Asbestos.Net.
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Quote: "Many veterans could be affected by asbestos as its wide spread usage was mandated between the 1930s and 1970s."

The brave men and women who have served our country are modern day heroes. Fighting for freedom has never come easy, nor does it now.

According to the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, there are currently 25 million individuals who have served in the United States Armed Forces - thank you. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of these living veterans have been exposed to asbestos-containing materials during their services.

What is asbestos

Currently, asbestos is a well known hazardous carcinogen. This fiber consists of long, thin fibrous crystals and may be mixed with other substances in order to resistant heat, electricity and chemical damage.

Why are veterans at risk

Due to these characteristics, asbestos was widely used by every branch. It was so powerful that it was mandated for wide spread usage prior to being phased out in the 1970s. It was used mainly for insulation purposes but was also used in over 300 products. The Navy primarily used asbestos between the 1930s and 1970s as every ship and shipyard built by the Navy was fitted with numerous asbestos containing materials. Asbestos exposure may lead to many diseases such as mesothelioma.

What is mesothelioma

Mesothelioma (mez-uh-thee-lee-O-muh) is a type of cancer that can be either malignant or benign. The malignant type of Mesothelioma is the most hazardous form of cancer and may be deadly in most cases. This cancer affects the tissue Mesothelium, which protects the heart, stomach, lungs, and other organs by making a special fluid that allows the organs to move.

What was asbestos used in

Asbestos was used in various aspects of the military which includes:

Flooring products
Steam pipes
Brakes and Clutches

Who could be affected by asbestos

Many veterans could be affected by asbestos as its wide spread usage was mandated between the 1930s and 1970s. These occupations in the service includes:

Navy personnel below the deck

All Sailors because asbestos was used in:

Navigation rooms
Sleeping Quarters
Mess Halls
Machinist mates
Machine repairmen
Construction workers
Shipyard workers
Boiler room workers
Machinery repairmen
Machinist mates

Also the spouses and children at home could be inadvertently affected due to the asbestos fibers being carried home in the clothing and other accessories. Those fibers could then be breathed in by whoever came in contact, also affecting the individual.

Is there any compensation involved

Unfortunately, there is no disability eligibility unless you can prove that the mesothelioma was due to asbestos exposure during active duty. Due to the longevity it takes for the disease to manifest, it is heavily impossible.

However, you can file claims against the asbestos companies themselves. Hundreds of thousands of veterans have successfully done so.

Reference: The Asbestos Cancer and Mesothelioma Support Center at Asbestos.Net

Information from our Mesothelioma: Symptoms, Signs & Information section - (Full List).

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