For years, asbestos has been banned for use because of its carcinogenic properties. However, many Navy veterans are suffering from exposure to asbestos or killed from malignant mesothelioma, asbestos cancer and asbestosis. This is because most Navy personnel serving honorably aboard ships have been exposed to harmful asbestos used as insulating material around boilers, pumps and pipes.
Asbestos was used liberally for many decades before it is harmful properties were discovered. As a natural occurring mineral, asbestos has exceptional properties that resists fire and heat. By the early 1980s, its use was curtailed when it became evident that exposure to the harmful toxic material cause significant injuries and death. Unfortunately, for many Navy veterans, the damage caused by exposure and inhalation had already begun.
Asbestos-Laced Products Used In Construction of Military Vessels
Before the early 1980s, asbestos was used extensively in the construction of Navy warships in a variety of components and products used on board. In addition to insulating boilers, asbestos was also widely used in gaskets, cables, paneling, adhesive, grinders, hydraulic assemblies and pipe fittings. Unfortunately, the use of the harmful material extended far beyond our nation’s warships. Many military vehicles used by the Navy are also equipped with brakes, clutches and gaskets containing asbestos, as are the flooring materials and plumbing systems used in Navy port facilities.
The use of asbestos peaked during World War II as a vast majority of U.S. citizens fought abroad and on the open seas. Many of the warships, shipyards and portside facilities laden with the toxic material remained in use through the Korean and Vietnam Wars, exposing untold numbers of naval and non-military personnel.
Since the time that the United States began limiting nearly every commercial use of the toxic material, the Navy has initiated cleanup programs in an effort to limit the exposure of military personnel on older vessels still in commission.
Mesothelioma and Navy Veterans
Mesothelioma is one of the leading causes of injuries and death among Navy veterans who were exposed to asbestos. Unfortunately, many Navy personnel and shipyard workers were unprotected from inhaling asbestos fibers. Even minimal exposure allows the inhaled fibers to take refuge in the lungs and eventually become embedded in layers of pleural mesothelium that surrounds the lungs.
The persistent and prolonged exposure to the harmful material that had lodged in the lungs produces numerous asbestos-related respiratory diseases including mesothelioma cancer and tumor growth. Unfortunately, asbestos fibers can also be ingested and cause other types of cancer as well.
The irritation caused by asbestos in and around organs can produce damage to the DNA and significant inflammation. Over time, the formation of tumors can develop in the peritoneum (abdominal cavity) and pleura (lungs). In some cases, Navy veterans have suffered damage to the testicles and heart from exposure to the insulation material.
Navy Veteran Legal Rights Following a Diagnosis of Mesothelioma
Currently, there is no cure available for any injury caused by the toxic material. Armed Forces personnel including Navy veterans have legal rights to receive compensation if injured or killed by asbestos exposure. This includes those that have served honorably on land or sea including on aircraft carriers, amphibious warships, battleships, cruisers, destroyers, escorts, frigates, minesweepers, submarines and merchant marine ships.
While veterans can apply for benefits through the VA for any asbestos related disease, additional compensation may also be available through third parties who might also be at fault. Liable third parties can include shipbuilders, equipment manufacturers and others that were duty bound to provide a safe product. This is because companies in the asbestos industry had known for years that exposure to the toxic fibers was dangerous. However, even with that knowledge they chose profits over the safety of others. Because of that, they can be held legally liable to provide compensation to victims.
Pursuing an Asbestos Lawsuit for Military Families
If you have suffered serious injuries or a loved one has died from exposure to asbestos, you have the legal right to seek compensation. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers offer a free initial consultation to evaluate your claim for recompense. Our personal injury attorneys specialize in toxic chemical exposure cases and fight aggressively for our clients. We will protect your rights while pursuing the compensation you rightly deserve for your injury caused by the negligent disregard for your health. Call our law offices at (888) 424-5757 to schedule your no obligation consultation.