It has been reported that more than 30 percent of Americans now dealing with mesothelioma were first exposed to asbestos while serving in the military. While veterans from all branches of the military have battled this disease, Navy veterans account for an unusually high number of mesothelioma victims.
This is because, until as recently as the mid-1970s, nearly every ship and shipyard built by the United States Navy was constructed with asbestos materials. Mandated into use by all branches of the military, asbestos was especially popular with the Navy for its fireproofing and heat-resistance capabilities, since seagoing vessels and submarines contained engines and boiler rooms and other below-deck areas that generated great amounts of heat. While asbestos was used in great quantities in these dangerous below-deck areas, it was also used in everything from mess halls to sleeping quarters. More than 300 products that contained asbestos were used by the Navy between 1940 and the 1970s, including:
- Deck coverings
- Pipe coverings
Whether they operated mainly above deck or below deck, Navy men and women suffered from asbestos exposure every day. While asbestos has not been used heavily in military ships since the mid 1970s, many older ships constructed with asbestos continued to operate for decades.
With over 20 million living US veterans, and given the very long latency period between asbestos exposure and the development of diseases like pleural mesothelioma, it stands to reason that mesothelioma will yet claim many more of the brave men and women’s lives who have given their service. While statistics show that Navy veterans and shipyard employees who worked between the 1930s and the 1970s have a greater chance of developing asbestos-related diseases, all veterans are at an increased risk for mesothelioma and asbestosis.
Mesothelioma Lawyers for Navy Veterans
At Simmons Hanly Conroy, we have been working with Navy veterans with mesothelioma for over a decade. Chairman John Simmons is a U.S. military veteran, and many of the mesothelioma lawyers on staff have also served with honor in the armed forces. We are familiar with the laws specific to military veterans, and we use our experience to fight for their rights every day.
If you are a Navy veteran battling mesothelioma, please contact us today for a free case consultation.