Mesothelioma and Navy Veterans - What You Need to Know

Mesothelioma in Navy Veterans is not a headline that one would expect to see these days plastered across the top line of our main media outlet. It is a real problem in America and many vets do not know where to go or who to turn to. Exposure to asbestos is the leading cause of mesothelioma. One might ask, “When and where would I have been exposed to asbestos?” The answer may surprise you. If you are a United States military veteran, particularly a Navy veteran and served between 1930 and 1980 then the answer is, “in the Navy”. Mesothelioma in Navy veterans is dominant because the Navy used asbestos in a variety of ways in its shipbuilding.

Asbestos was used because it was a good insulate. What makes it a good tool for insulation is the fact that it is heat and fire resistant. In a typical Navy vessel that used asbestos, the weapons and ammunition storage rooms, engine rooms, boiler rooms, mess halls and sleeping quarters were the predominant culprits. A fire on a Navy vessel was a nightmare scenario because asbestos covered every inch of some ships. The pipes, pumps, motors and even the walls and floors were insulated with the carcinogenic fibers. So, the asbestos exposure would have been an everyday experience and now, a leading cause of mesothelioma in Navy veterans.

Sadly, the United States was aware of the dangers of asbestos as early as 1939. However, with the growing conflict in Europe and the eventual war, the threat of putting soldiers at risk was overlooked and asbestos on Navy ships was prevalent. Even once the Navy stopped using asbestos, it still remained on existing ships and when those ships were renovated to remove the substance, thousands of civilian workers were exposed to the deadly compound. The United States used asbestos in all branches of the military, but the Navy made the most use of it, exposing sailors for decades.

Mesothelioma in Navy veterans is at an all-time high. Many ask how this could be true, as the use of the substance came to an end forty years ago. The answer is simple: mesothelioma symptoms do not typically appear for 20-50 years after exposure. Typical symptoms are fatigue, coughing, shortness of breath and overall difficulty breathing. If you served in the Navy from the 1930’s to the late 1970’s, the chances are very good that you were exposed to asbestos and are at risk for mesothelioma.

There is help and a large support community out there. Mesothelioma in Navy veterans is wide spread and many do not know where to turn. If you have been exposed to asbestos due to service in the United States Navy, please find a quality mesothelioma lawyer to weigh your options.