Veterans and Mesothelioma
In recent years, large numbers of veterans have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or asbestos related diseases. Those who served in the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard along with their spouses have begun to develop mesothelioma. Of a reported 25 million living individuals who have served in the armed forces, nearly one-third have been exposed to asbestos and are showing symptoms of mesothelioma.
Asbestos Exposure in Veterans
Since the symptoms of mesothelioma take many years to appear, it is difficult to pinpoint and prove exactly where the exposure for veterans occurred. Service men and women who served in the Navy during World War II have a much higher incidence of developing mesothelioma.
There are, however, many other sources of exposure for veterans such as insulation installers, shipyard workers, construction workers, machinery repairmen, machinist’s mates, boiler room workers, and others who worked below deck. In addition, those who worked with adhesives, brake pads, clutches, cables, gaskets, and plumbing are also at risk. More than 300 products with asbestos were used by the military, and even more by the Navy from the 1930’s and asbestos use was not discontinued until the 1970’s
How Can Veterans Get Help?
Veteran’s assistance is available through Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA provides health and disability benefits to all veterans who are enrolled into the program in their area. Special programs are available for veterans with conditions recognized as service related disorders. Mesothelioma is not currently on the list of approved service-related conditions, but if proof can be provided of exposure to asbestos during years of service resulting in mesothelioma, Disability Compensation may be rewarded. Veterans with mesothelioma can also file claims against the asbestos companies for compensation.
If you are a veteran and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or another asbestos related disease, please contact a Veteran Service Officer near you for assistance.