For Veterans: The History of the Navy and Mesothelioma
Over the next several weeks, we’ll explore some of the key topics of interest for veterans of the military regarding exposure to asbestos and the possible consequences to their health and finances that can result from the exposure.
Veterans at risk for potentially fatal levels of asbestos exposure typically are those who served between the years of the First World War and Vietnam. Those individuals were not made aware of the risks to their well being at their time of service, and some may not even be aware of them now. The purpose of these next several articles is to educate and inform those who may have been affected by toxic levels of asbestos about their medical, legal and financial options in the years following exposure.
More information about the risks and consequences of asbestos exposure for veterans of the U.S. Military, including a free consultation of your possible case against those responsible for exposing you to a known dangerous carcinogen, you can contact Shrader Law and Associates, LLP directly anytime of the day TOLL-FREE at 1-877-637-6347.
PART I: THE HISTORY OF THE NAVY AND MESOTHELIOMA
Although veterans from every branch of the military faced exposure to asbestos during the years between WW I and the Vietnam War, the most dangerous levels of said exposure by far were experienced by veterans of the U.S. Navy-with mesothelioma rates for that group far exceeding the average, as a result.
The Asbestos Mandate of 1939
With construction demands for new combat vessels, vehicles and aircraft at an all-time high during the years between the First and Second World Wars, every branch of the U.S. military turned to asbestos as a construction material of choice. The navy took this high rate of usage to the greatest extreme, however, by issuing-in-1939 an official mandate requiring that asbestos-made building materials be used to construct all ships and other new structures.
The result of that mandate was unparalleled ubiquity of asbestos on navy ships. It is estimated that on literally every single navy vessel, constructed prior to 1970, there were approximately 300 different asbestos-containing components.
The locations with the highest risks of asbestos, aboard pre-1970 ships include:
- Engine rooms
- Damage control
- Pump rooms
- Boiler rooms
- Below-deck storage areas
Veterans of the Navy: Mesothelioma Rates
As a result of the high degree and high rates of asbestos exposure experienced by navy servicemen and women during the early- to mid-century combat years of the 1900s, rates of mesothelioma and other related cancers among that group are the highest in the nation. So high, in fact, that navy veterans make up nearly a third of all Americans diagnosed annually. For veterans of the navy, mesothelioma presents a very real and palpable health crisis fully deserving of the massive national attention received in recent years.