Navy veterans are not the only ones which were exposed to asbestos while serving the nation. Asbestos related disease such as mesothelioma are also prevalent among army veterans. In navy, the key cause of asbestos exposure was extensive use of asbestos in ship building material.
Army and Asbestos
The reason is almost the same in case of army too, here the exposure of asbestos happened because of extensive use of asbestos in army installation. Asbestos was used in construction of sleeping barracks, eating places, ammunition storage facilities, training and recreating facilities and so on. Asbestos was considered a miracle material then and the key reason of using it was its extraordinary properties to resist heat and provide fire insulation. Further, it was not very expensive.
Asbestos was used extensively in flooring, roofing, tiles, insulation, plumbing, cement, etc. in these installation. Not only the building asbestos was used in army vehicles (trucks, cars, transport vehicles, etc.), for the same reason as it was used in buildings. Asbestos was used to make brake pads, gaskets etc. Mechanics who were repairing army vehicles, especially brakes, gaskets were also had high chances of fatal asbestos exposure. Thus, overall, army veterans before 1990s had high chances of asbestos exposure.
But the problem was not limited to this alone. Because when asbestos became part of everyday life (house, plumbing, etc.) not only the veterans, even their family members living with them got exposed to asbestos. In cases where the direct exposure was limited, there was always a risk or secondary exposure to family members. Why so? This is because of the fact that asbestos fibres are so thin and light that they hang to clothes, tools or exposed people and then others can get indirectly exposed to them. It is precisely this property (thin, very light) property of asbestos which makes asbestos so dangerous.
When the ill effects of asbestos on health came out. The use of asbestos in army became limited to only a few things after 1970s. But there are still installation and buildings constructed before that period which might have asbestos. The only thing one can do is to remain very cautions while working in such installations.
What if you are exposed to asbestos
The biggest issue with asbestos exposure is that the symptoms do not show even after 10-15 years and in some cases as much as 30 years. Further, the symptoms are very common and thus often ignored. Thus, early diagnosis of mesothelioma is difficult. If you were serving army before 1970s and suffer with symptoms such as – cough, fever, chest pain, weight loss, do consider to get yourself checked for asbestos exposure. An early diagnosis can really improve the prognosis.
Mesothelioma treatment is expensive and financial assistance of any kind can help a lot. As an army veteran, based on the merit of the case, patient diagnosed with asbestos induced disease may be eligible for compensation. To avail the same, army veterans have to follow the procedure laid out which include proof:
- That the disease is indeed induced due to exposure to asbestos
- That the exposure was caused while serving with US army
A mesothelioma lawyer can help in the process and guide you correctly. Thus, if you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, please get in touch with a good mesothelioma lawyer and discuss your case. Many lawyers do not charge initial consultation fee too.