Occurrence of Mesothelioma in Veterans

Asbestos was used in a vast array of products until the 1980s, prior to which, very few companies knew about its dangers. One of the most common causes of mesothelioma is regular exposure to asbestos. It is a cancer that attacks the protective lining of the lungs, abdomen or the heart. The United States military was also ignorant to the dangers of asbestos exposure, and the material was used extensively by all branches of the military in the past. Some of the most common places where asbestos was used in the military includes:

• Insulating material on naval ships, particularly on boilers, engines, and ammunition storage units

• Sleeping quarters, mess halls, and navigation rooms on ships

• As flame retardant materials on aircraft, including in engine shields, cargo bays, brakes, etc.

• Jeeps, trucks, and tanks, particularly in brake and clutch systems to withstand friction

• General construction materials used in mess halls, administrative buildings, floor tiles, roof shingles, dry wall, and cement

This has made personnel who came into contact with the asbestos fibers directly or indirectly more susceptible to asbestos cancer. This includes Navy shipyard workers, military and air force product workers, and many other people working in the defense forces.

Even though the disease directly links, in many cases, with military usage of asbestos-containing materials, neither the Federal Government nor the armed forces are sued or blamed for the exposure. Instead, it is the asbestos manufacturing companies that are held responsible for veterans’ exposure. The Veteran Affairs (VA) considers asbestos cancer to be an illness that is connected with defense service and therefore provides guidance to affected personnel. But veterans have to show that the asbestos exposure occurred during defense service in order to claim compensation from VA. Gathering evidence and the necessary details in order to make a presentation to the VA is tiring as well as…

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