Products containing asbestos were widely used by the U.S. military from the 1930s until the 1970s. If you or a loved one served in the US Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, or Merchant Marines and were diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and seek compensation.
Military Asbestos Exposure
Although the risk of asbestos exposure was present in all branches of the US military, military personnel who served in some branches of the US Armed Forced faced a higher risk of asbestos-related diseases that veterans of other branches.
The following overview contains information about the unique risks of diseases caused by asbestos exposure for the different branches of the US military:
- Air Force: The US Air Force was created as a separate branch of the US Armed Forces in 1947. As a result, asbestos materials were used in the construction of many buildings and other facilities used by Air Force personnel. Asbestos was also found in many parts that were used in Air Force planes and other aircraft, including brake systems, engine valves, gaskets, and other parts.
- Army: Barracks and other buildings used by the US Army contained cement flooring, insulation, plumbing, roof tiles, and other materials made from asbestos for decades. Asbestos parts were also found in many vehicles used by Army personnel. Soldiers who served onboard troop transport ships may also have been exposed to asbestos from the materials or parts that were used to manufacture these vessels.
- Coast Guard: Sailors who served with the US Coast Guard have one of the highest risks of asbestos exposure of any branch of the military. Coast Guard vessels contained numerous materials and parts that were made from asbestos. In particular, sailors who worked in the boiler or engine rooms of Coast Guard ships may have been exposed to high quantities of airborne asbestos.
- Marines: As with the Army and Air Force, the buildings and barracks used by Marines may have been manufactured using asbestos-containing materials, putting them at risk of mesothelioma cancer, asbestosis, or other diseases. Marines who served onboard troop transport ships – including as mechanics onboard Navy ships – may also have been exposed to asbestos.
- Merchant Marines: Many Merchant Marines ships contained parts or materials that were manufactured using asbestos. The risk of exposure was particularly high for Merchant Marines who worked in ship boiler rooms or engine rooms, where the risk of airborne asbestos was particularly high.
- Navy: Like military personnel who served in the Coast Guard or Merchant Marines, US Navy sailors faced one of the highest risks of asbestos exposure among all branches of the military. This increased risk of exposure was particularly high for sailors who served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, or other military conflicts that occured before the use of asbestos was restricted in the US in the 1970s.
Diseases Linked to Asbestos Exposure Among Veterans
The common disease associated with asbestos exposure among veterans of the US Armed Forces is mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer that can effect the lining of the heart, lungs, abdomen, or testicles. Although scientists have developed treatments for mesothelioma cancer, the disease is almost always fatal, usually within just a few years after diagnosis.
Exposure to asbestos may also cause a disease known as asbestosis. Asbestosis is a lung disease which causes irritation and scarring in the lungs as a result of exposure to asbestos particles. Patients who are diagnosed with asbestosis may face an increased risk of developing mesothelioma cancer.
Asbestos exposure has also been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer. Unlike mesothelioma — in which the lining of the lungs may be affected — asbestos-related lung cancer causes damage directly to the lung tissue of a person who has been exposed to asbestos. The types of lung cancer associated with asbestos include small-cell lung cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer.
Contact Hissey, Mulderig & Friend for a Free Consultation
If you served in the US Armed Forces and were diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or other diseases caused by asbestos exposure, you may be eligible to take legal action. Family members of veterans who were diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases may also qualify to file a claim. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer to learn more about your legal rights.
The lawyers at Hissey, Mulderig & Friend have represented thousands of clients across the U.S. in mesothelioma and asbestos litigation. Our attorneys have also represented thousands of clients who have been injured by dangerous drugs, defective medical devices, or other hazardous consumer products.
For more information about whether you may qualify to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, contact the lawyers at Hissey, Mulderig & Friend for a free legal consultation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-866-806-8117, or by following this link to our free online case evaluation form located on the right side of this page.