While vets from virtually every branch of the military may have been exposed to asbestos while serving their country — including those in the Army, Air Force and Marines — those serving in the US Navy may have experienced the worst of it. In fact, you could probably find asbestos on almost any US Naval ship built prior to the 1980s. From fireproofing to insulation, literally tons of asbestos was used for a variety of purposes on each vessel.
Unfortunately, this means that anyone assigned to these vessels were likely exposed to significant — and therefore dangerous — amounts of asbestos. And even though this exposure may not have led to any serious illnesses at the time, countless vets are now, years later, starting to develop deadly medical conditions, including mesothelioma and lung cancer, among others.
Indeed, probably one of the most frightening aspects of asbestos-related medical conditions is that symptoms may not present themselves for several decades, meaning asbestos is ticking time bomb in the body.
Given this delay between exposure and the development of a medical condition, many vets don’t realize they are at risk until it is too late. For instance, a recent CDC analysis found that more than 80 percent of deaths linked to malignant mesothelioma from 1999 to 2015 were among individuals aged 65 years and older, which is to be expected given time delay mentioned above. For many of these mesothelioma victims, asbestos exposure occurred several years before they actually got sick.
While there is nothing that can be done to stop asbestos exposure that happened years ago, victims of asbestos do have legal options now. If you would like to learn more about your legal rights, contact an experienced asbestos attorney today.