Asbestos Occupation Spotlight: Military Veterans

This Veteran’s Day we honor more than 20 million men and women who served our country. We remember them for their service and selfless dedication to our country. They have made countless sacrifices on our country’s behalf and, here at Simmons Hanly Conroy, we are grateful for their service.

We are honored to help military veterans who were exposed to asbestos during their service and are now battling a rare form of cancer called mesothelioma linked to asbestos exposure. Sometimes victims of asbestos exposure may not realize they were exposed to asbestos until after their diagnosis. However, because of the prevalence of asbestos use in the military, many veterans remember being exposed.

Asbestos was heavily used in all five branches of the U.S. military – the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. From transportation vehicles, ships and helicopters to mess halls and other base buildings, asbestos could be found in more than 300 products and materials used by the military.

While the military stopped using asbestos for new construction in projects in the late 1970s, buildings, ships and other transportation vehicles already containing asbestos remained in use for decades.

Military veterans exposed to asbestos are at an increased risk of developing a rare form of cancer called mesothelioma. In fact, more than 30 percent of Americans diagnosed with mesothelioma were first exposed to asbestos during their time in the military, many of them Navy veterans.

Asbestos Exposure by Military Branch

Navy veterans account for an unusually high number of mesothelioma victims. Up until the mid-1970s, nearly every ship and shipyard built by the U.S. Navy was constructed with asbestos materials such as packing material, gaskets, insulation, ropes, fireproof doors and adhesives.

Army wheeled vehicle and aviation mechanics may have been exposed to asbestos-containing brakes, clutches, gaskets and resins while performing maintenance and repairs on jeeps, trucks, motorcycles, troop transports and helicopters.

Air Force
Because of its heat-resistance properties, asbestos was used in cockpit heating systems, heat shields for engines, brakes, wiring insulation, gaskets, jet exhaust insulation and more. As a result, aviation mechanics, electronic technicians and jet engine inspectors may have been exposed to asbestos.

Marine Corps
Asbestos was used on nearly every naval ship and in nearly every naval shipyard because of its heat resistant properties. Asbestos products such as pumps, valves, boiler insulation, ropes and fireproof doors were used throughout the ships, providing numerous opportunities for members of the Marine Corp to be exposed to the dangerous toxin.

Coast Guard
Asbestos was used everywhere from gaskets, pumps, valves and turbines to pipes, ropes and boiler room insulation aboard Coast Guard vessels.

Veterans Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Given mesothelioma’s latency period of about 20 to 50 years, many military veterans are still being diagnosed with this devastating disease today.

It is important for veterans to understand the risks asbestos exposure posed during their service, so they can be prepared to take action now. Simmons Hanly Conroy attorneys have centuries of cumulative experience helping military veterans affected by mesothelioma.

We are familiar with laws specific to military veterans, and we use our experience to fight for your rights. If you are a military veteran battling mesothelioma, click here for answers to common questions about filing a veterans’ mesothelioma lawsuit.

You can also check out our list of the Top 10 Occupations at Risk of Asbestos Exposure in 2022.

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