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Asbestos and Mesothelioma: What Veterans Should Know

When members of the armed forces return home after serving our country, they are often at risk for suffering severe mental conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. What many individuals may not be aware of, however, is the risk of developing mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure during deployment. Here, the mesothelioma attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos discuss what veterans should know about the dangers of asbestos exposure as well as their legal rights if they are diagnosed with mesothelioma after serving in the armed forces.

 Asbestos Was Frequently Used By All Branches of the Military

Between the years of 1935 and 1975, the mineral asbestos was commonly used by all branches of the military for its ability to insulate and fireproof military vehicles, buildings and equipment. Asbestos was heavily used in the construction and development of ships, tanks, aircrafts, buildings, vehicles and more, mostly during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. During the time period when asbestos was used most heavily, the military bought the mineral in large quantities from manufacturers who were aware of the dangers of asbestos but did not release information about the minerals toxicity. Therefore, thousands of U.S. soldiers were unknowingly exposed to the harmful effects of asbestos, leading to thousands of mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diagnoses after soldiers returned home.

Veterans Have a Higher Chance of Developing Mesothelioma

It is estimated that veterans file approximately 30% of all mesothelioma lawsuits in the United States, and they are more likely to develop mesothelioma than an American citizen who did not serve. Even though the use of asbestos-related products by the military reduced after the harmful effects of the mineral were discovered, it took decades for asbestos-containing products and equipment to be removed entirely. This means that today’s soldiers are still at risk for exposure to the toxic material. Additionally, the health concerns associated with asbestos exposure can take years to develop, which means that veterans are at risk of developing malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer and other diseases even decades after they served our country.

Service Members Who Develop Asbestos-Related Diseases Can Qualify for Benefits

If you were a member of the U.S. armed forces and developed mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease after serving in the military, you can qualify for financial benefits through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Benefits include disability compensation, monthly compensation and benefits for surviving family members of an individual who suffered a service-related death. Some asbestos-related diseases that are approved for VA disability include asbestosis, bronchus cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, larynx cancer, lung cancer, mesothelioma, pleural effusion, pleural plaques, pharynx cancer and some urogenital cancers.

The Dedicated Mesothelioma Attorneys at The Law Offices Of Peter Angelos Can Represent You

It is a tragedy when our brave and selfless service members develop a severe asbestos-related disease while protecting our nation, especially when the toxic qualities of asbestos were kept hidden from the military for years. The legal team of attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos have decades of experience tirelessly defending our nation’s heroes after they have developed asbestos-related conditions. If you are a veteran and suffer from an asbestos-related condition developed while serving in the armed forces, do not hesitate to contact a mesothelioma attorney at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos.