Up until health risks associated with its use caused hefty federal restrictions to be placed on it in the mid-1970s, asbestos was seen as a durable but inexpensive material with excellent resistance to heat and fire—in other words, ideal for use in military applications.
Illnesses related to asbestos exposure often take decades to manifest—from 20 to 50 years. Because of this, many veterans may not realize the extent of their exposure until an illness is diagnosed.
To help, we’ve compiled a list of common sources of asbestos exposure. While some sources may typically impact one branch of the military more than others, all branches share a high degree of exposure risk within the era or when working with buildings or tools made during the era.
Asbestos-containing materials in use by the military until the mid-1970s include:
- Construction materials used in barracks, mess halls, office buildings and on-base housing, such as concrete foundations, wiring, insulation, roofing, flooring, cement, caulk and plumbing.
- Motor pool materials such as brake pads, gaskets, clutch plates and insulation, as well as asbestos gloves made for handling firing gear.
- Airplane materials including heating systems, breaks, torque valves, insulation and engine compartment heat shields.
- Ship materials including heat and electrical insulation, flooring, plumbing, gaskets, turbines, pumps and ropes. Asbestos exposure was
Veterans returning from more recent service in Iraq and nearby regions may have been exposed when buildings containing asbestos were damaged, causing particles of the material to become airborne.
If you are a Texas veteran working to establish a service-connection for an asbestos related illness, talk to the knowledgeable Dallas VA disability law firm, Morgan & Weisbrod. Call 877-898-1581or fill out the online contact form to learn more.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.