Mesothelioma & Veterans
Veterans with mesothelioma - information for patients and families
Decades after bravely serving their country, some veterans find themselves in the unfortunate circumstance of having developed an asbestos disease such as mesothelioma. Military veterans are at particular risk for mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis since the carcinogen asbestos was so widely used in military construction.
It is estimated that at least 30 percent of those diagnosed with mesothelioma in this country are veterans. Our firm has helped thousands of these veterans uncover how they were exposed to asbestos using comprehensive archival information regarding materials that were made with asbestos decades ago. Veterans wishing to obtain more information on asbestos containing materials may click here to request an Asbestos Sourcebook.
Since the early 1940s, millions of American veterans have been exposed to asbestos dust, including many of the 4.5 million men and women who worked in shipyards during the peak shipbuilding years of World War II. Shipyard workers are at great risk for mesothelioma because they worked directly with asbestos when building ships and salvaging parts. (For a list of U.S. Naval vessels from WWII through Vietnam that used or contained asbestos click here.)
Exposure on Navy vessels
Asbestos exposure was also prevalent for those serving aboard the Navy's vessels since it was used throughout those ships and in machinery such as pipes and gaskets. Asbestos was primarily used in insulation and for materials located in engine and boiler rooms, where heat resistance is essential. Those who worked below deck, such as boilermakers, were heavily subjected to asbestos fibers. Boilermakers had to maintain, install, and repair the asbestos-insulated boilers in naval vessels, which easily release asbestos fibers through normal operations.
In addition to those who served in the Navy, veterans who served other military occupations may have been exposed to asbestos, including demolition, carpentry and construction; manufacture and servicing of friction products such as clutch facings and brake linings; manufacture and installation of products such as roofing and flooring materials; asbestos cement pipes and military equipment.
Resources for veterans with mesothelioma
Many veterans who filled these roles, only to later be diagnosed with mesothelioma, are unaware they have options for assistance. While veterans aren't able to sue the military, they may apply for benefits involving asbestos-related diseases to the department of Veteran Affairs (VA). They may also bring legal action against the corporations that manufactured and sold the asbestos that caused their mesothelioma or other lung ailment. In fact, many of these entities are still in business today, making them liable for compensating veterans harmed by their products.
Many veterans have come forward to say their work environment led to a diagnosis of mesothelioma, asbestosis or asbestos lung cancer from asbestos. If this has been your experience, we may be able to help. Please complete the form on this page to learn more about legal resources for veterans with mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases.