Army veterans, like Navy veterans, were susceptible to suffering from asbestos exposure while serving their country. While Army veterans, in general, did not complete their tour of duty aboard ships, they did spend considerable time in government-constructed military installations and vehicles that were built using asbestos-containing materials prior to the 1970s. As a result, many Army veterans may have been exposed to high levels of asbestos. Today, these Army veterans could be at risk for developing the asbestos cancer known as mesothelioma.
Where Army Veterans Were Exposed to Asbestos
Many of the buildings on Army bases, including sleeping barracks, mess halls, ammunition storage facilities and training facilities, to name a few, were built with products that contained asbestos. The primary purpose for the use of asbestos containing products in the construction of military installations was to provide insulation and protection from fire and extreme heat. Examples of the types of products used in buildings include flooring and flooring tiles, wall insulation, ceiling tiles and asbestos cement and siding. Even though the use of asbestos was eventually banned in the United States there are many military installations existing today that were built well before that point in time. As a result, there may be extra building materials stored in the facilities. Because it may not be entirely clear whether or not these materials contain asbestos, those asked to work with them may know to take necessary safety precautions. Asbestos exposure doesn’t affect soldiers alone. If there are asbestos hazards in Army housing, for example, a soldier’s entire family may suffer from asbestos exposure placing everyone at risk for developing an asbestos related disease.
Military vehicles were also manufactured with asbestos containing products. Brakes, gaskets and insulation were the primary asbestos containing materials used and were present in virtually every military vehicle made including combat and transport vehicles and tank transporters. Soldier mechanics assigned to maintaining and repairing these vehicles were placed at risk of being exposed to asbestos especially when working on brakes or replacing gaskets. While these individuals were placed at risk for experiencing direct exposure to asbestos, their families may have been at risk for second hand asbestos exposure. This is because airborne asbestos fibers, which are what can become trapped in lungs and eventually cause mesothelioma, can also become trapped on hair and clothing. Military mechanics working on vehicles with asbestos parts may have unknowingly brought asbestos fibers home on their clothes or hair to their family members who were then susceptible to breathing it in. This placed their loved ones at risk for developing mesothelioma as well.
Do Army Veterans Diagnosed with Mesothelioma Have Legal Rights?
Absolutely! If you are an Army veteran, or the loved one of an Army veteran, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible to receive compensation for the injury that you sustained as a result of service in the U.S. Army. Please fill out the form on this page to receive more information about Army veterans, asbestos exposure and mesothelioma.