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Published On: Wed, Nov 23rd, 2016

Military Exposure: Occupations Prone to Asbestos-Related Health Issues

Unfortunately many military members were exposed to dangerous amounts of asbestos over the years. The U.S. Navy was a major culprit that used asbestos as a fire-retardant on far too many ships and projects during the 20th century. These properties did help protect them at the time, but have left dangerous health hazards for those survivors up to this day.

Asbestos Related Disease

Asbestos as many would know turned out to be one of the worst toxic materials out there with incredibly dangerous long-term consequences to health. The short-term benefits it provided in protection were nothing to what serviceman and others had to put up with over time.

Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) raise the First Navy Jack (Don't Tread on Me), Yokosuka, Japan (Dec. 23, 2001). US Navy Photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class David A. Levy

Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) raise the First Navy Jack (Don’t Tread on Me), Yokosuka, Japan (Dec. 23, 2001). US Navy Photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class David A. Levy

The Navy was one of the worst offenders, but that doesn’t leave out the other branches of the service. Marines, Air Force, and the Coast Guard all used the material leading to a large amount of veterans with asbestos related health issues.  Around 30 percent of people who suffer from mesothelioma are Veterans, caused exclusively by exposure to asbestos.

Those wishing to recoup their losses in medical bills, and safety can contact Belluck & Fox in order to learn more what they can do for themselves or a loved veteran who may be suffering.

Continued Exposure

As Asbestos ages it lets fibers off that then become a threat. These are inhaled or ingested then causing scarring in the lungs. These products stopped being put in the use by the military in the mid 1970s but persisted into the 1980s and 1970s on old buildings, barracks, and other military vehicles.

Until the Enviormental Protection Agency (EPA) regulated asbestos it was used in ship building everywhere, contributing to one of the reasons that those in the U.S Navy were hit the hardest of all branches.

The different areas asbestos was used in were boiler rooms, engine rooms, weapon stock rooms and places that needed additional heat insulation. Those that worked in these designated areas were then exposed.

Ubiquitous Use

Asbestos ships were covered in other areas as well.  One of the worst offenders was submarines, where sailors slept under asbestos covered pipes that would leave dust on them while they slept. Marines and other personnel that used these ships were also transported on them.

Veterans after leaving the military were even more suspect to continued exposure through working as miners, shipyards and construction work. The dangers of asbestos were known for some time, around 100 years before any public demands and EPA regulations were met. The long-term effects did not outweigh the short term goals the usage managed to supply workers and builders with. Because of the long length of time it takes for some of these diseases to develop, veterans and others will be contending with the problems for some time.

Buildings or anything else that had asbestos in it needs to be taken care of and got rid of. Disposing of this cancerous and dangerous building material is a major concern so no more veterans can become ill from it.

Guest Author :

John Bruce takes an interest in public health and safety and writes about an array of topics on this subject for his articles. He has had articles published on news sites, law blogs and consumer sites.

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