Many Navy veterans are concerned about asbestos exposure, and with good reason. Symptoms from exposure-related illnesses can take 20 to 50 years to manifest. Unfortunately, by this point, illnesses have usually progressed to advanced stages. Thus, it is important for Navy veterans to know if they may have been exposed to asbestos, to know what health conditions could develop because of that exposure, and to understand the veterans’ disability benefits they may receive if they become sick.
How Asbestos Was Used in Navy Ships
Until restrictions were placed on its use in the 1970s, asbestos offered a heat- and fire-resistant building material that was both inexpensive and durable. Though it was most often used in areas that needed a degree of heat resistance, U.S. Naval vessels of the era used the material in hundreds of applications: from boiler rooms and ammunition storage rooms to bunkers and the mess hall.
The most hazardous areas of U.S. Naval vessels for asbestos exposure were below deck. Navy veterans with the most exposure risk will have spent a lot of time in the lower areas of the ship, such as the:
- Engine room
- Boiler room
- Pump room
However, asbestos-sealed wiring and pipes were often exposed for ease of access throughout the ship—meaning it was possible for a veteran to sleep in a bunker beneath materials that were regularly shedding asbestos fibers.
The Dangers of Asbestos Exposure
People who are exposed to asbestos may breathe in the tiny asbestos fibers and suffering lung-related illnesses, such as:
- Lung cancer
All of these conditions are serious and require a prompt medical diagnosis and quick treatment.
Veterans’ Benefits May Help If You Become Sick
If you are a veteran who was not dishonorably discharged, were exposed to asbestos while in military service, and have developed an asbestos-related illness, you may be eligible to receive veterans’ disability benefits. Our experienced disability lawyers will work hard to get you the full benefits you deserve. Please contact us via this website or by phone today to learn more.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.