The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate all that makes our nation great. For most Americans, Independence Day is a time to gather with friends and family to enjoy parades, picnics, and fireworks.
But as you celebrate the joys of this important national holiday, take a moment tomorrow to salute the nation’s veterans: those who are currently serving and those who fought in the past to secure the freedoms we now enjoy.
Of course, many veterans have long since ended their service in defense of our nation. But some are now beginning their greatest battle – the battle against mesothelioma, an incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
Veterans are at a significant risk of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Before the mid-70s, many asbestos-containing products were used to construct military bases and naval vessels. (Get an overview about the links between military service, asbestos exposure, and mesothelioma with our infographic.)
Asbestos aboard ships was used in products such as insulation and pipe coverings, gaskets, felts, meters, deck coverings, boilers, and adhesives. Engine and boiler rooms, navigation rooms, sleeping quarters, and mess halls all could contain products made with asbestos, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Many naval veterans are just now showing symptoms of mesothelioma despite undergoing asbestos exposure decades ago. The latency period of mesothelioma is long – it can take up to 50 years for symptoms of this devastating disease to emerge.
The asbestos exposure of our nation’s veterans was largely preventable. There is evidence that manufacturers knew that their asbestos-containing products posed a serious health risk to humans. These companies used asbestos in their products despite awareness of the dangers posed by exposure to this carcinogen.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, you may want to consult an asbestos attorney about your legal options. Contact Sokolove Law today for a free consultation. Any asbestos lawsuit you pursue will not be filed against the government or the military.