Veterans and Mesothelioma

Though there are many different professions and types of people who have been exposed to asbestos and subsequently impacted by malignant mesothelioma, veterans of the U.S. armed forces represent the majority. During the years leading up to World War II and continuing until the time that the material’s dangers were made public, the American military favored products that contained asbestos. Though military buyers’ intent was to provide strength and protection from flame and heat to the men and women who were serving the country, the ubiquitous use of asbestos in everything from barracks and dining halls to weaponry and boiler rooms meant that veterans were exposed to the carcinogenic material at every turn. Machinists, mechanics, and those who repaired and maintained vehicles and engines had the greatest exposure, and this resulted in their disproportionate numbers among mesothelioma’s victims.

Navy Veterans

Though service members in all branches of the military were exposed to asbestos, the greatest risk to health came in the U.S. Navy. Though the highest level of exposure came from the high-heat environment found in the ships’ boiler rooms and engine rooms, asbestos was a component of nearly every inch of the Navy’s ships: it was used in paint and insulation, in pipes and plumbing, and in the ammunition rooms and sleeping quarters. Many sailors remember fine dust falling from their ship’s cracks and crevices whenever guns were fired, and that dust was heavily contaminated with asbestos, as was much of the equipment that was used onboard.

Marine Veterans

For members of the U.S. Marine Corps, the greatest exposure to asbestos came from the equipment that they used and the transport vehicles that carried them to and from the field of battle. This included ships, jeeps, and planes whose brake linings and construction were insulated with asbestos. They were also exposed to the deadly material in the barracks where they slept, the mess halls where they ate.

Army Veterans

For those who served in the U.S. Army, asbestos exposure came largely from the barracks where they slept, the mess halls where they ate, and the administrative buildings where they worked. Asbestos was used as a strengthening agent in the infrastructure of military based up until the mid-1970s. It also insulated pipes, and was a component in roofing, ceiling and floor tiles, and boiler rooms.

Air Force Veterans

By the very nature of their service, Air Force veterans spent most of their time in or working on aircraft, and these vehicles were often insulated or built with asbestos materials that provided protection against heat and flame. Additionally, many of the parts that required protection against wearing down to friction used asbestos linings. This meant that anybody repairing or maintaining these vital pieces of equipment were constantly breathing in asbestos dust, and the same was true for anybody that flew in them.

Coast Guard Veterans

Like their brothers and sisters who served in the Navy, those who were members of the U.S. Coast Guard lived and worked onboard ships that were built using high quantities of asbestos. Not only were the ships fabricated using the carcinogenic material, but much of the high-heat equipment that powered their engines and internal processes were insulated with asbestos as well. Even the roping with which vessels were secured contained asbestos.

Protections and Benefits for Veterans

If you are a veteran of America’s military, you are entitled to certain benefits. These include healthcare coverage and compensation for losses sustained as a result of your service, and these benefits are administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The V.A. coordinates disability compensation for all service-connected disabilities. Additionally, those companies that provided asbestos-contaminated products and materials may be held responsible for the damages you’ve suffered, including your medical expenses, your pain and suffering, and the hardship that your illness has imposed on your family.

To learn more about the benefits that you may be able to pursue, complete the form to request your complimentary copy or call us at 1-800-763-9286.