From the beginning of World War II through the Korean War asbestos was used extensively by the US military. Anyone who served in the armed forces between from the early 1940s and the mid 1950s, particularly those aboard Navy vessels – and anyone who worked in a shipyard – were often regularly exposed to asbestos.
It wasn’t until the end of the 1970s that the results of asbestos exposure became widely known to the general public.
Prior to the dangers being known asbestos was widely used throughout all Navy ships. You’d find it in the boiler room, the fire and engine rooms, sleeping quarters, the mess hall, the navigation room – the list goes on and on.
And because people lived in small quarters and the ventilation throughout the ships was poor it is pretty much a given that anyone aboard one of these vessels at that point in time was exposed to asbestos fiber contamination.
The reason asbestos was so widely used is because this naturally occurring substance is resistant to heat, fire, and chemicals. And it does not conduct electricity.
If left undisturbed it can actually be quite harmless. But if this fibrous material is disturbed or handled then very small particles are released into the air. Once these fibers are swallowed or inhaled they can cause major damage physical over the course of time.
The particles can scar the abdomen and/or the lungs. Diseases such as mesothelioma (also called asbestos cancer) and asbestosis can result. These diseases can be very painful. They are usually incurable. Most victims succumb to them.
It often takes from one to four decades – or more – from the time of the initial exposure for asbestos related diseases to start to become evident.
Over 43,000 Americans died from asbestos related illnesses from 1979 to 2001. More than 30% of them were veterans. Since that time the number of cases has increased.
Recently veterans across the United States who have been exposed to asbestos have begun to band together and rally. They want to make sure that their rights are being protected.
Now, depending on the kind of illness that developed, veterans can collect at least some and sometimes all of their VA benefits. The challenge to being able to collect benefits arises from being able to prove that their illness resulted from being exposed to asbestos and that it happened while they were in the military.
If the veteran can’t definitely prove that their exposure to asbestos happened specifically when they were in the military then the US government mandates that the veteran recovers his or her damages from the asbestos companies.
Asbestos was widely used in the private sector as well until the late 1970s. Consequently it can be a challenge trying to isolate which product caused the contamination. And then the victim must find the company that manufactured that product.
Because it can be so difficult to show proof of exposure it is important that veterans take advantage of the services offered by mesothelioma lawyers.
And to arrange for free consultation with mesothelioma lawyers go to => http://www.asbestos.net/asbestos-legal-issues/mesothelioma-asbestos-and-other-asbestos-diseases-lawyers-and-attorneys.html Wendy Moyer on behalf of Sokolove Law.