While service members were toiling aboard navy vessels during the World War II era, most had no idea that an additional threat lurked aboard these vessels. This threat carried no weapons and it did not care about political or social viewpoints. It could affect anyone and it had no emotional connections to keep it in check. This threat was asbestos and it occupied nearly every part of the navy in that era.
Despite warnings about the material’s long-term health risks issued by the Navy’s surgeon general in 1939, asbestos was used heavily aboard vessels and even in military bases. It was cheap, easy-to-handle and it was effective; three attributes that matter during wartime. The use of asbestos extended beyond World War II into the 1970s when the Navy began decreasing its use.
This means that anyone who has served in the Navy has a significant risk of developing mesothelioma/asbestos-related illness. This is particularly so for service members who worked at the following jobs.
- Ship builders
- Boiler tenders
- Ship fitters
- Engine mechanics
- Steel workers
- Repair personnel
Further, the heavy use of this material likely exposed everyone on board due to the presence of asbestos fibers in virtually all areas of the vessel. Navy bases on land also made use of asbestos, extending the exposure risks to those who served in administrative positions.
Many of these brave veterans already risked their lives once in service of the country. Now, their lives and health are at risk once again as they struggle to survive mesothelioma/asbestos-related illnesses. If you are one of these veterans in Illinois or anywhere else in the nation, please consider consulting an attorney. Doing so could give you the compensation you need to extend your life and improve its quality.
Source: Pleural Mesothelioma Center, “Asbestos and Navy Veterans,” Danielle DiPietro, accessed Nov. 03, 2017