Marine Veterans and Mesothelioma
Veterans of the U.S. armed forces have faced many dangers in their lives protecting the country from those that threaten democracy, but going off active duty or retirement does not end the danger. While on active duty, millions of veterans, include U.S. Marines, have been exposed to asbestos.
Asbestos is a natural fiber that was used by the Marines and the other branches of the U.S. military for a variety of purposes. One of the chief uses of asbestos was in shipbuilding. This has caused Navy veterans to receive greater exposure than other veterans, but Marine Corp veterans also spent a lot of time on those ships.
Marine Corp veterans have not only been exposed to asbestos on ships. Asbestos was also used in nearly all other types of vehicles, including ground transportation, armored vehicles and airplanes. Marine bases were also built using large quantities of asbestos, which means marines were exposed while they were sleeping, while in training and while eating. The armed forces stopped using asbestos in the late 1970s, but it remained present for decades afterward.
The armed forces began using asbestos in the 1920s. Some veterans have spoken out about being warned of the dangers of the material even back then. Some personnel working with asbestos were required to wear masks, and others were not. Safety procedures were put in place regarding asbestos in the 1940s, but they were rarely followed. By the time the Marines stopped using asbestos in the 1970s, the evidence of the dangers of asbestos exposure was incontrovertible. Asbestos was linked to a rash of new cases of mesothelioma. It is estimated that up to 3,000 veterans are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year, which accounts for one-third of all new cases.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that begins in the lining of the chest or abdominal cavity. Asbestos fibers that are inhaled or ingested become lodged in this lining and mesothelioma results after years of irritation from the fibers. The symptoms of mesothelioma usually do not begin until 10 years after exposure to asbestos, and in some cases, symptoms may not appear until up to 50 years later.
Early Detection of Mesothelioma
Veterans of the U.S. Marine Corp are recommended to pay attention to their health and get regular checkups at their local VA medical center. Early detection increases of the lifespan of those who fall prey to the disease. Marine Corp veterans have a high risk of developing mesothelioma because many have spent so much time in the confined quarters of Navy ships built with asbestos. These ships are known for having poor ventilation, so asbestos fibers that have come loose may remain in the air in large concentrations for long periods of time.
If you or a family member was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corp and has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be able to be compensated for your damages. Contact us today by filling out the simple form on this page for more information.