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Why do Navy vets face such a high risk of mesothelioma?

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2019 | Occupational Asbestos Exposure

More than 360,000 veterans live in Minnesota today. And these brave individuals should not have to worry about their health after they leave active duty. Yet, many veterans deal with permanent injuries, disabilities or illnesses.

Some of those injuries or illnesses might not appear until long after their service. One of the most famous examples of this is Agent Orange causing cancer in Vietnam War veterans long after they returned home.

However, it is also well-known that veterans of the U.S. Navy were likely exposed to asbestos for years.

Asbestos was used heavily in the Navy for years

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) only issued regulations to ban and phase-out the use of asbestos in 1989. And it was only in April of this year that the EPA announced the final rule to prohibit any new uses of asbestos.

That is why many manufacturers still used asbestos frequently before the 1980s. But the U.S. Navy is a special case. That is because the Navy used asbestos extensively, including in:

  • The manufacturing of nearly every ship from World War II to the late 1970s; and
  • In almost every part of the ship, from the deck covering materials to the paneling.

And though the U.S. Navy began replacing materials with asbestos after the EPA’s ban, it can still be found in ships today.

And some veterans worked directly with the substance 

Many Navy veterans could be at risk of developing mesothelioma. However, some might face a higher risk if they worked as:

  • Boiler or fire control technicians
  • Pipefitters or manufacturers
  • Shipyard workers
  • Machinist mates

In these positions, individuals worked directly with the materials containing asbestos. This high exposure significantly increases their chances of being diagnosed with mesothelioma than other service members in any other branch of the military.

What kind of compensation can Navy veterans collect?

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans could be entitled to collect disability benefits if they are diagnosed with mesothelioma. This compensation can help you and your family cover health care and medical bills.

Trying to navigate treatment and care while seeking the benefits you deserve can be complex. But if you or a loved one is a Navy veteran diagnosed with mesothelioma, then you could recover compensation to ease your stress.


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