Until the 1970s, the United States military largely ignored the health risks posed by asbestos. The material was highly desirable, affordable, and easy to acquire, which is why asbestos was widely used in the military for so long. Unfortunately, this deadly material was used in military facilities throughout the country, especially those utilized by the Air Force.
The United States Airforce not only used asbestos materials for the buildings, they also used it in the construction of their planes. In some cases, asbestos was even integrated into the design of aviation suits. Even though we know about the dangers of asbestos now, it took the military years to remove the majority of the asbestos materials from their bases. And, unfortunately, some Air Force facilities still have significant asbestos contamination.
For this reason, all Air Force Veterans need to be aware of the danger posed against them. If you served in the Air Force, make sure you know how and when you could have been exposed to asbestos.
The Air Force & Asbestos Use
Before anyone knew about the dangers of asbestos, the fibrous material was highly valued in the military because of its heat resistance, durability, and low cost. Due to these seemingly ideal qualities, asbestos was very widely used for the construction of Air Force buildings, machines, transportation, and more. However, the material’s hazardous, carcinogenic qualities quickly became apparent when members of the air force regularly exposed to asbestos began developing mesothelioma and other associated diseases.
Asbestos was often used in the following:
- Aircraft gaskets
- Aircraft gel lubrication and hydraulic lines
- Aircraft stitching wire
- Boiler rooms
- Hot water tank insulation
- Jet firewall seals
- Neoprene asbestos seals for aircraft equipment
- Spray-on fireproofing
- Tile and vinyl floors
- Vibration dampeners on air handling systems
- Wall insulation
These materials were present on Air Force bases, hangers, training facilities, and the planes. In other words, anyone who served in the Air Force and came in regular contact with any of these areas could have been susceptible to asbestos contamination.
Whether on the ground or in the air, the risk of exposure was high. However, certain crash crew members faced an especially high risk of asbestos exposure because of the hazardous gear they were required to wear. For a while, the A-1 aviation crash crew members were outfitted in fire retardant suits, glasses, gloves, and boots containing asbestos.
Do You Have a Case?
Asbestos is extremely hazardous, especially in a work environment where exposure is frequent and ongoing. Air Force members who inhaled asbestos fibers are likely to develop chest irritations, which can lead to the development of mesothelioma, a deadly cancer. If you have mesothelioma and you served in the Air Force near any asbestos materials, you may be entitled to certain damages.
Contact Shrader & Associates L.L.P.today if you think you have a mesothelioma case.