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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 heat-resistant 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 large 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:
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.
Given the long latency period – about 10 to 40 years – between asbestos exposure and the development of diseases like pleural mesothelioma, it stands to reason that mesothelioma will claim many more lives of the brave men and women 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.
At Simmons Hanly Conroy, we are dedicated to helping Navy veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and have been doing so for over a decade. Chairman John Simmons is a U.S. military veteran, and many of the mesothelioma lawyers on staff have also served 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.
Simmons Hanly Conroy has represented hundreds of Navy veterans throughout the country – officers and crew who endured years of unsafe work environments in contaminated shipyards and all classes of Naval ships, including: destroyers, destroyer escorts, LST’s, submarines, battleships, carriers, frigates, tenders, cruisers and assault craft. A number of our clients, for instance, were stationed on board the USS Kitty Hawk, a Pacific fleet carrier that served our county with distinction for nearly fifty years. Sailors on carriers such as the Kitty Hawk, especially during the 1940s-1970s, were at substantial risk of asbestos exposure.