- What is Mesothelioma?
- What Benefits are Available?
- How to claim disability benefits
- Other legal options
- Asbestos Statistics in USA
Veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of active duty are entitled to benefits from the federal government
Did you know that veterans have a higher incidence of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases than the general population? In fact, veterans make up approximately 30 percent of ALL U.S. cases of mesothelioma. What is the cause of this disturbing fact? The military made widespread use of asbestos from 1930s to the 1990s. Asbestos was used in everything from shipbuilding to the construction of barracks. Each branch of the military used asbestos. Every naval ship constructed in this time period contained asbestos. Asbestos was used in boiler and engine rooms, as well as in electrical products. This means that U.S. Navy veterans are especially at risk for getting mesothelioma, particularly those that worked at shipbuilding facilities, or in engine and boiler rooms. U.S. Coast Guard vets face similar risks of exposure. Asbestos was also widely used in military buildings and equipment, such as military vehicles and aircraft. This means veterans of the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Marines also faced potential exposure. Asbestos fibers are dangerous when airborne. Veterans who served in any of the following occupations faced the highest risk of exposure to asbestos: mechanics, pipefitters, boiler tenders, electricians, carpenters, steamfitters and firemen.
What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a serious, incurable cancer that can affect the lining (mesothelium) of the lungs, chest, abdomen or heart. It usually takes 15-60 years to develop. This is why veterans who served years ago remain at risk. It is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos fibers that are inhaled or ingested. The fibers become lodged in the body, which can cause internal tissue scarring and eventually the growth of cancerous cells. Like other cancers, mesothelioma is diagnosed in stages depending on its severity at the time of diagnosis, with Stage 1 the least severe and Stage 4 the most progressed. While it cannot be cured, there are some potential treatments, like surgery and chemotherapy.