Asbestos in the Navy
Members of the US Navy agree to face many different challenges and make enormous sacrifices for their country. Unfortunately, many veterans have been exposed to an additional, unnecessary risk without even being informed about the threat to their health. This is asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was once a common component of Navy ships.
Asbestos has been linked to several life-threatening illnesses, including lung cancer and the aggressive cancer mesothelioma. In fact, it is the only known cause of conditions like mesothelioma and asbestosis, a chronic inflammation of the lungs. Despite the fact that these dangers have been known for some time, many companies and even government agencies decided its low costs and durability were worth the risk to workers and US veterans.
Asbestos Exposure Areas in the Navy
The use of asbestos in the Navy was at its peak between the 1930’s and the 1970’s, when public awareness of asbestos’ dangers finally ended its widespread use. During this time period, many Navy ships were built with materials containing large amounts of asbestos. Sadly, there is evidence that the government was aware of the hazards of asbestos throughout most of these decades.
Asbestos is at its most dangerous when it is disturbed, as this causes fibers to break apart and potentially be inhaled. As a result, Navy veterans who were involved in the construction, maintenance, or demolition of ships are at an elevated risk for asbestos-related diseases. Sailors who spent a lot of time in the confined spaces of engine and boiler rooms are also at a high risk due to the popularity of pipe insulation made from asbestos.
Even though the presence of asbestos on Navy ships has decreased since the 1970’s, veterans are still at risk. This is because mesothelioma and lung cancer can develop for many years before their symptoms become apparent. In addition, even today asbestos can be found in some Navy watercraft.
If you have been exposed to asbestos, contact the asbestos lawyers of Williams Kherkher today.