How Veterans Are Being Impacted By Asbestos Exposure
Veterans from almost every branch of the United States armed forces such as Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines are now living with long-lasting health concerns and painful conditions due to exposure to asbestos during their services. Asbestos, a common natural material that has been widely used in many industries for decades, was also commonly used throughout the US Military. Many veterans have shown to have been exposed to this harmful substance during their service, but those in the Navy and Air Force seem to have had the greatest exposure.
What Exactly is Asbestos?
It is surprising to many that asbestos is 100% natural and is a highly unusual mineral that has characteristics that make it hat and fire retardant. This is why it was so widely used as insulation and in areas where other materials could not handle high heat situations. It is heat and fire resistant so in the military asbestos was used to in the construction of machine parts, homes, ship engine rooms, and other areas where high heat tolerance and insulation were needed. It was not until decades later that the risks of exposure to asbestos became known and it was phased out of use in most military applications within the United States. Although present-day military personnel may still be at risk for asbestos exposure if they are using older equipment or still working or sleeping in older buildings, many safety precautions have been implemented to minimize exposure to asbestos by US military personnel.
Why Asbestos is a Major Concern for Veterans
Asbestos was used widely in military applications and could be found in barracks, planes, ships, submarines, trucks, and many other everyday items and in commonly used locations. This made exposure common and long term for those serving in the military. This is a big problem because, over time, exposure to asbestos leads to the development of a type of cancer known as mesothelioma. This cancer can attack the specialized cells and tissue that make up the lining of major organs in the body. Mesothelioma most often occurs in the lining of the lungs, the heart, or the stomach. Over time, cancer damages the lining of these critical organs and affects them so greatly that they can no longer function properly. The heart cannot carry oxygen as effectively, the lungs won’t inflate and absorb oxygen, and the stomach is unable to properly absorb nutrients from food. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is often slow to appear but once it takes hold it is a very fast-growing and progressing cancer that often kills in just a few years to even just a few months of diagnosis. This is why it is such a devastating disease and impacts so many- it can appear 20 or more years after the exposure and is a very aggressive form of cancer that is almost always deadly since it is currently still incurable.
Getting Help in Times of Greatest Need
When you need help fighting for your rights and when you need answers, Asbestos.Net is here to help you make sense of it all! Much progress has been made to try and remove asbestos from military installations and facilities and to reduce exposure to any asbestos remnants and that may be unavoidable. Unfortunately, there are still many new cases of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses diagnosed each because of its ability to lie dormant for so long before becoming activated in the body. It’s important to know what your legal rights are if you have been exposed to asbestos.