Military veterans, who bravely served our country from World War II through the Vietnam War in all branches of the military, were exposed to dangerous asbestos. Asbestos was used on military bases, naval shipyards and in Navy ships throughout the 20th century. We now know that asbestos causes many illnesses including lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma cancer. Prior to the regulation of asbestos, asbestos was widely popular in many industries because the mineral was inexpensive, durable, non-conductive and resistant to heat, flame and corrosion. The use of asbestos on naval ships and in Navy and commercial shipyards was especially harmful to many U.S. Navy veterans. Hundreds of thousands of our military veterans have suffered from asbestos-related illnesses, including mesothelioma.
Naval vessels, in particular, had to be especially resistant to fire and temperature transfer because of their combat military purpose. Asbestos was used to insulate engine rooms, boiler rooms, walls, pipes, electrical wiring, and sleeping quarters. It was commonly used in flooring, gaskets, cement, and joint compounds onboard the ship as well. Although asbestos insulation was found covering pipes and wiring throughout the ship, among the most dangerous areas to Navy veterans on the vessels were the fire, engine and boiler rooms. As asbestos materials broke down, or were damaged, repaired and replaced, asbestos dust was released in the air. Because of the close quarters and poor ventilation on ships, these tiny fibers lingered in the air where they were easily inhaled or ingested. Once asbestos fibers make their way into the body, they can become lodged in organ tissues causing inflammation and scarring that may lead to the development of peritoneal mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma, or pericardial mesothelioma along with other asbestos-related diseases.
Some of the U.S. Navy veterans most at risk of developing mesothelioma include boiler men, electrician's mates, enginemen, firemen, machinist mates, pipefitters and shipfitters who all worked below deck nearest the areas where asbestos was most heavily used. Seabees who helped with military construction and the civilian shipyard workers were also at high risk.
Unfortunately, millions of people have been exposed to asbestos over the years. Only now are we able to see the disastrous effects of asbestos exposure in the workplace. Generally, it takes 10 to 60 years from the time of asbestos exposure until symptoms appear or mesothelioma is diagnosed.
Many of the companies have established trust funds to pay compensation to persons injured by asbestos.
If you have mesothelioma, or other asbestos-related injury, and wish to consult an attorney about your legal rights to compensation, CLICK HERE for a free consultation.