Navy veterans and the risk of mesothelioma

Navy veterans and the risk of mesothelioma

| Jul 27, 2021 | Veterans and Mesothelioma/Asbestos

U.S. armed forces members file nearly one out of every three mesothelioma lawsuits, and no military members were more exposed to asbestos than Navy veterans.

Asbestos was widely used throughout Navy ships and shipyards for protection against saltwater corrosion and for fireproofing. Many vessels still in service and built before 1980 continue to expose military and civilian workers to asbestos-related illnesses.

Navy occupations with the highest exposure levels

Mesothelioma often appears decades after prolonged exposure to asbestos. Navy personnel who served in the last 50 years may still be at risk. Some of the Navy jobs associated with the disease include:

  • Boatswain’s Mate
  • Boiler technician
  • Electrician’s Mate
  • Damage control worker
  • Fire control technician
  • Gunner’s Mate
  • Hull maintenance technician
  • Lagger
  • Machinist’s Mate
  • Metalsmith
  • Pipefitter
  • Water tender
  • Welder

Civilian shipyard workers are also at risk

The Navy started selling many of its older ships for scrap in the 1990s, often dispatching them to ports where civilian shipyard workers had no training to handle asbestos, causing more needless exposure.

These workers, along with others who disassembled or rebuilt Navy ships, have a higher risk of contracting mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses.

Care and compensation for Navy veterans

Any type of cancer diagnosis is frightening, and mesothelioma is the most notorious associated with prolonged asbestos exposure. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes mesothelioma and other related diseases connected to military service.

Veterans who get sick due to their military service are eligible for various benefits, such as disability compensation, free health care treatment and other services for family members, including survivor benefits for those who have lost a loved one to mesothelioma.

If you or a loved one is diagnosed with the disease, it’s advisable to contact an experienced attorney who can help you receive the benefits you qualify for, plus explore all potential avenues for compensation, such as filing a personal injury claim.