U.S. Veterans and Mesothelioma
While anyone can be diagnosed through direct or secondhand exposure with asbestos, the United States military is one of the most at-risk groups to be diagnosed with mesothelioma, as veterans can develop mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure during their military service. Today there are approximately 25 million veterans in the United States from all wars and all branches of service, and they account for approximately 30% of all known mesothelioma deaths that have occurred in this country. Many veterans and shipyard workers were exposed through ships, shipyards, barracks, and while serving in other countries to name a few.
Asbestos is recognized as a potent carcinogen and the reason for tens of thousands of asbestosis, asbestos cancer and malignant mesothelioma deaths among American workers and veterans. Because exposure to asbestos, the only known cause of mesothelioma, was unavoidable for some military personnel, it is the reason why mesothelioma remains one of the most serious diseases affecting veterans today, especially those who served between World War II and the Vietnam War. In fact, about 4.3 million Americans worked in shipyards during World War II, and the daily tasks shipyard workers were required to perform placed many of them at risk for developing asbestos-related diseases.
Navy veterans are at the greatest risk for developing mesothelioma due to the fact that asbestos was widely used in naval ships and shipyards, causing them to be exposed to high levels of asbestos present in places such as boiler rooms, engine rooms, sleeping quarters, and along the miles of pipe aboard ships and in the walls and doors that required fireproofing. Not only were the soldiers living or working aboard the ships susceptible to inhaling asbestos, but the individuals who built and repaired the ships were even more prone to developing diseases associated with the toxic mineral. Although asbestos products were discontinued by about 1980, hundreds of military installations were left with asbestos flooring, ceiling tiles, and wall insulation, as well as the asbestos found in thousands of military vehicles in brakes, gaskets and insulation.
There have been occasions where military base office personnel, and others who did not work directly on ships, developed mesothelioma cancer through second-hand asbestos exposure. This occurs when asbestos dust is inhaled from the clothes and hair of others who worked with asbestos or from an abundance of asbestos circulating through the air. In addition, family members of shipyard workers have also been known to develop the disease due to the same type of secondary exposure.
Mesothelioma has an uncommonly long period of latency, and because it remains dormant for several decades, many veterans who served during the 1950s to the 1970s are just being diagnosed with the disease.
If you or a loved one needs assistance in obtaining compensation for medical expenses, loss of income and suffering as a result of asbestos exposure, contact The Madeksho Law Firm, PLLC. With over 40 years experience litigating these types of cases, their educated attorneys will work to get you the compensation you deserve.