Air Force Veterans and Asbestos Exposure
From the 1930s to the 1980s, asbestos exposure was prevalent at U.S. Air Force bases and aircraft maintenance stations for jets, propeller planes, helicopters and other aircraft. Exposure came from asbestos-containing vehicle brakes, adhesives, epoxies, jet exhaust insulation, electrical equipment and other standard asbestos construction equipment related to the service buildings, hangers, barracks and offices. Asbestos was also found in boilers, furnaces, walls, soundproofing panels and HVAC systems.
The U.S. Air Force has gone to great lengths in recent years to guard against asbestos exposure, but veterans remain at risk of developing mesothelioma. Like all branches of the U.S. military through most of the 20th century, the Air Force utilized asbestos for its heat resistance, durability and affordability in spite of health risks.
Air Force Jobs Affected by Asbestos
Simmons Hanly Conroy has represented hundreds of U. S. Air Force veterans affected by mesothelioma including personnel, civilian contractors and workers who were employed at Air Force bases nationally and internationally. Some of the jobs they held were:
- Airplane crew chief
- Auto mechanic
- Aviation machinists mate
- Boiler tender
- Bombardier mechanic
- Communications specialist
- Electronics technician
- Fuel specialist
- Heavy equipment operator
- HVAC specialist
- Instrument shop workers
- Jet engine inspector
- Jet mechanic
- MechanicMechanical/electrical engineer
- Navigation systems technician
- Radar technician
- Radio operator
- Sheetmetal worker
- Supply helper
- Supply warehouse
- Truck driver
- Weapons mechanic
Asbestos on Air Force Bases
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authenticated the presence of asbestos in Air Force facilities in 2002. On-base housing pipe insulation was one material that contained asbestos. In 2009, the Air Force paid for the removal of 6,000 feet of above-ground asbestos-coated stem pipeline located at the former Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, IL. Chanute, which closed in 1993, has additional underground steam tunnels scheduled for demolition by 2015.
Asbestos in Military Aircraft
Asbestos was used in the building and maintenance of aircraft, primarily to aid in the protection against fire and heat. Brakes, cockpit heating system, heat shields for engines, torque valves, gaskets, electrical wiring and insulation in the cargo bays also contain asbestos. Air Force mechanics were especially at risk for exposure, as they were more likely to inhale airborne asbestos dust and fibers through contact with engine and motor parts and other materials if they didn’t necessary precautions.
Mesothelioma Lawyers for Air Force Veterans
Simmons Hanly Conroy is dedicated to working with U.S. Air Force mesothelioma veterans who were negligently exposed to asbestos. If you are a veteran battling mesothelioma, please Contact Us today for a free case consultation.
Simmons Hanly Conroy clients have worked at Air Force bases throughout the country, including: