It is no secret that, in decades past, countless service members were exposed to dangerous amounts of asbestos while serving their country. In fact, asbestos — a toxic material linked to various cancers such as mesothelioma and lung cancer — could once be found throughout the military, including in barracks and offices, as well as in tanks, planes or even ships.
However, while asbestos exposure likely occurred in virtually every branch of the military, veterans in one particular branch are being hit the hardest by mesothelioma: the Navy.
Why the Navy?
Out of all of the branches, naval service members often experienced the most extreme instances of asbestos exposure. For example, from the 1930s up until the 1980s, naval vessels typically contained several asbestos-laden parts and components, including, but not limited to:
- Pipe insulation
- Deck-covering materials
- Thermal insulation
Not only was asbestos use prevalent in the Navy, but service members — particularly machinists, pipefitters and boilermen — often experienced prolonged asbestos exposure in small places. After all, it’s not like these individuals could easily leave the ship. Unfortunately, these are merely a few reasons why many Navy vets continue to develop mesothelioma decades after their service has ended.
Simply put, our brave veterans have already had to make unimaginable sacrifices to protect our country — meaning we owe them a debt we can never repay. Sadly, though, despite their sacrifices, many vets continue to suffer years later from asbestos-related medical conditions. They deserve better.