Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of veterans were exposed materials that contained asbestos during military service. Until the government implemented regulations in the 1970s, asbestos was commonly used for insulation. Although it is dangerous, military personnel continue to suffer asbestos exposure — particularly in combat locations such as Iraq. In these locations, buildings that contained asbestos materials were destroyed and released dangerous particles into the air. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has provided guidance for this type of an asbestos claim. The guidelines recognize that exposure may be brief or indirect.
Even still, exposure can be dangerous – even deadly. There is virtually no part of a U.S. Navy ship built before the mid-1970s that did not involve asbestos. Asbestos could be found in boiler rooms, insulating pipes in mess and living quarters, insulating cables, gaskets, valves, adhesives, brakes, and clutches. Asbestos was on a wide variety of ships — including aircraft carriers and destroyer escorts. Some military occupations create a higher risk of exposure: mining, milling, demolition, insulation work, work in a ship yard, carpentry, construction, manufacturing roofing instillation, pipe installation, and work that involves cement sheets. Working with friction products (such as brake pads of clutch facings) increase an individual’s chances of developing asbestos-related mesothelioma.
Read further to learn more — or contact our veterans disability attorneys to talk about your exposure and how we can help.
Mesothelioma and Other Asbestos Related Health Conditions
Asbestos can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma: a cancer of the thin lining surrounding the lung (pleural membrane). Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer usually caused by asbestos exposure. Because of this, it is usually easy to connect mesothelioma to asbestos exposure. After diagnosis, veterans usually live for approximately one year. However, each patient has specific circumstances that may shorten or lengthen the expected life span. The attorneys at Bosley & Bratch are very sensitive to the difficulties many of our clients face who are suffering from devastating diseases.
Other health problems associated with asbestos usually involve the lungs and pleural membrane surrounding the lungs. Common conditions include asbestosis and pleural plaques. Asbestosis is the scarring of lung tissue and causes breathing problems. This is usually found in workers who were exposed to asbestos because of their jobs. Pleural plaque involves scarring of the inner surface of the ribcage and area surrounding the lungs. This condition is symptomized by breathing problems as well. Pleural plaques are usually not as serious as asbestosis. Veterans who lived in areas with environmental asbestos exposure, as well as workers, can develop pleural plaques.
What Can Our Veterans Disability Attorneys Do for You?
Veterans who suffer from an illness caused by asbestos exposure in the military may be entitled to VA disability and other forms of compensation. At Bosley & Bratch, we know the various laws and regulations dealing with asbestos claims. We also know how to build an argument to demonstrate the connection between asbestos exposure, mesothelioma and other severe illness. This often includes buddy statements, preserving testimony, and gathering military records. It may also include dealing with VA and private doctors’ records and reports.
If you or a loved one was exposed to asbestos in the military, please call us at (800) 953-6224 or fill out our free evaluation form.