Veterans & Asbestos
If you are one of the 25 million Americans who have served in one of the United States’ armed forces, you are owed a great debt for the sacrifices you have made. Whether you served in the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, or Army, you have given a lot to your country.
But because of the Navy’s extensive use of asbestos in its vessels, you may be at risk of developing serious asbestos-related health problems, including mesothelioma. In fact, Navy veterans are among the most at risk for dangerous asbestos exposure.
Veterans’ Exposure to Asbestos
Because asbestos had so many useful physical properties, such as high tensile strength and high heat resistivity, it was widely incorporated into a number of military products from the 1930s to the 1970s. Asbestos played a huge role in fireproofing ships, insulating pipes, and acting as an additive in adhesives.
While asbestos could be found in nearly every sector of the armed forces, they were far and away the most prevalent in the Navy. Navy veterans, particularly those who worked near pipes and boilers, were often exposed to high concentrations of asbestos.
Studies have estimated that up to 30% of military veterans who served before 1970 were exposed to asbestos. This amounts to millions of dedicated individuals who came into contact with this dangerous substance while serving their country.
Sources of Exposure
Navy veterans who worked with or around any of the following items are at serious risk for medical complications caused by asbestos exposure:
- Steam pipes
- Hot water pipes
- Brakes / clutches
- Boilers, turbines, and generators
- Navy shipyards
Unfortunately, the consequences of asbestos exposure may not be clear for decades. If you or a loved one has developed a condition like asbestosis or mesothelioma, it could be due to asbestos exposure before the 1970’s.
Veterans’ Rights and Options
Under the current system, veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases are not permitted to sue the government for compensation. Instead, veterans must seek treatment and compensation by applying for benefits through the Veterans’ Affairs (VA) system. Learn more about:
Because mesothelioma is classified as a military-service-related ailment, veterans may be entitled to receive treatment and compensation.
Unfortunately, claiming VA benefits for asbestos-related illness can be difficult. To be eligible, veterans must prove not only their mesothelioma diagnosis, but also show that their disease was likely caused by asbestos exposure during their military service.
To learn more about filing a veterans’ asbestos claim, please fill out our quick contact form or call us at 800-781-3955.