- Mesothelioma and Military Veterans
- October 17, 2013
- Law Firm: Brayton Purcell LLP - Novato Office
Many people do not know that asbestos was a widely-used substance within the military. Everything from aircraft and ships to soldier sleeping quarters contained some form of the substance, as it was praised it for its ability to resist heat and fire. Many also do not know about the deadly effects of asbestos, one of which is mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure that can affect the linings between the chest cavity and the organs within it. It is a painful form of cancer whose symptoms can lay dormant for decades, and is almost always fatal. Because of asbestos exposure within our military all those years ago, our veterans make up more than 30% of mesothelioma victims today.
Asbestos was used extensively from the 1930's to the 1970's within all branches of the U.S. Military. In 1939, asbestos was considered necessary to the United States' national security, and used within all new Navy vessels constructed from that point on. The Air Force used asbestos materials in electric wiring insulation, while the Army utilized it in military vehicles. Asbestos was also present in the homes and buildings of military bases. No matter what division of the military a soldier signed up for, none were free of asbestos.
After asbestos was recognized as a hazard to human health in 1978, the military began phasing the deadly substance out of its products - but not before thousands of veterans had been exposed. Many whose service ended did not expect to be diagnosed with mesothelioma 10-50 years later, but that is how it happened. Veterans today are successfully fighting against asbestos companies who failed to warn them about the dangers of asbestos exposure.