Veterans Day is November 11th. As we stop to honor the veterans and active service members who have so bravely protected our nation, it’s important to remember that not every danger they faced was found on the battlefield.
Many of our veterans have been gravely injured by exposure to asbestos while serving our country.
Most people now know that asbestos is dangerous to human health. Asbestos is linked to serious diseases such as mesothelioma, a virulent cancer. But before the 1970s, this “miracle mineral” was thought to be safe and was valued for its strength, versatility, and fire resistance. It was commonly used in thousands of industrial and consumer products even though many manufacturers knew of its dangers.
Numerous asbestos-containing products were used by the U.S. military. So any veteran who served in the middle of the 20th century could have been exposed to hazardous asbestos.
In the U.S Navy, asbestos was used in shipyards and ships that were built before the mid-1970s. Asbestos-containing materials could be found in engine rooms and throughout ships where it was used to cover pipes, boilers, gaskets, turbines and pumps. The sailors who operated these ships as well as the shipyard workers who repaired them were at great risk of asbestos exposure.
Personnel in other branches of the armed forces were also at risk of exposure. Asbestos was routinely used in planes, in machinery and vehicles, in military housing and administrative buildings – even in gas masks.
Symptoms of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases can take decades to show up after exposure, so veterans who retired from active duty years ago are only now being diagnosed.
Mesothelioma causes malignant cancer cells to form in the lining that covers the lungs, abdomen, or heart. The most common symptoms of mesothelioma are:
• Shortness of breath
• Persistent cough
• Chest pain
• Pleural effusion (fluid surrounding the lung)
• Ascites (abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen
• Pain in lower back
• Abdominal swelling
• Mass in the abdomen
• Bowel obstruction
• Chills and fever
• Decreased appetite, weight loss
Contact your doctor if you have any of these symptoms and believe you were exposed to asbestos during your military service.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, there may be legal action you can take against the manufacturers whose asbestos-containing products caused your illness. Contact Sokolove Law today for a free consultation.