A Look into Veteran's Position and Asbestos Exposure Rates

A recent article published by the International Journal of Radiation Biology takes an in-depth look at the implications of United States nuclear weapons testing between 1945 and 1962. The study considered asbestos –related medical issues such as mesothelioma and other cancers. Nearly 114,000 veterans were selected as the subjects of this study; each of whom had previously worked in weapons tests that were correlated to high exposure rates.

While previous studies have looked at the potential exposure rates of veterans, the data presented by the International Journal of Radiation Biology is unique because it enabled researchers to project potential exposure rates for specific service based positions. They organize their findings by the unit of measure Standardized Mortality Ratios (SMR). They calculated and organized figures by service, rank and ratings and returned to subjects 65 years after their service to assess their health.

Their data yielded interesting results; mortality rates were not increased in the Army, Air Force or Marines, but were slightly higher in Navy personnel. Those with the highest potential for exposure worked as "machinists' mates, boiler technicians, water tender, pipefitters and firemen." This study concluded that the high rate of mesothelioma related deaths among veterans is due much in part to asbestos exposure amongst naval personnel during their time on ship.

This study was supported through grants from the National Cancer Institute, The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as through support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

John E. Till, Harold L. Beck, John D. Boice Jr., H. Justin Mohler, Michael T. Mumma, Jill W. Aanenson & Helen A. Grogan (2019) Asbestos exposure and mesothelioma mortality among atomic veterans, International Journal of Radiation Biology, DOI: 10.1080/09553002.2018.1551641

The Paul Law Firm advocates for victims of asbestos-related diseases. If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma, call the Paul Law Firm. With over 2.5 billion dollars collected for victims of asbestos exposure, we have the knowledge and the experience to fight for you. We also understand that fighting doesn't just happen in the courtroom. It also happens in a lab where we are fighting for a cure. Check out the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America here.

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