The Navy and Asbestos

When you consider mesothelioma and the military, you may want to know that the Navy has the highest number of those affected. Many Navy veterans came into contact with asbestos that was so widely used throughout the ships and shipyards.


Navy Veterans Have the Highest Rate of Mesothelioma in the Military

No other military branch even comes close to The Navy in those who have been affected by asbestos-related diseases. Asbestos was used in a number of ships and other products by the military. Exposure to this deadly fiber has left many Navy veterans sick and diseased.

The brave men and women who served our country in the Navy from WWII through the Vietnam War were unknowingly exposed to a high level of airborne asbestos fibers throughout ships and shipyards during their tours of duty.

Because of asbestos’s high-quality fire resistance, affordability, and other benefits, it was a popular material in all branches of the armed forces. The military made extensive use of this material. As the drastic side effects of asbestos became known, manufacturers did everything in their power to keep this information from their workers, their clients, and the general public.

Warships especially contained large amounts of asbestos. The material could be found in boiler insulation, cables, cement, gaskets, pipe fittings, and more. Several military vehicles had asbestos in their brakes, clutches, and gaskets. Army bases had buildings filled with asbestos, such as cement mixtures, floor materials, and plumbing systems.

Because these warships, vehicles, and buildings remained in service for several years, they continually exposed Navy workers to asbestos. Modern safety regulations have been put in place to help protect members of the armed forces, but the risk of asbestos exposure is only minimized, not negated.

Veterans of the Navy and What They Need to Know

Increased Asbestos Exposure

During WWII asbestos was used a lot in the Navy. Regulations went into effect in the 1980s, so that means most veterans were affected from WWII to the ’80s when asbestos was becoming used less in ships. Most veterans were exposed to asbestos on ships or in the shipyards. These frequent exposures were not limited to certain rooms, types of ships, or jobs, either. Asbestos dust was a risk throughout ships, from navigation to the boilers. The more confined space is, the more likely sailors were to inhale large amounts of asbestos fibers.

Because mesothelioma has a latency period of 20-50 years, some veterans are only now receiving their diagnoses, whereas others have yet to experience any symptoms.

icons Veterans Benefits

Benefits Through the VA and Sailors

The full amount of compensation, which is $2,800 or more per month, is often given to veterans of the Navy. This amount is going to be affected by the marital status and even if they have children.

Manufacturing Companies and Responsibility

The companies that used asbestos in their materials did a great deal to keep the negative side effects from those that were handling and purchasing their materials. The Navy Veterans should understand that the Navy is is not directly responsible. The manufacturers are the ones that are at fault because they kept this from those that were purchasing their products.


Every Ship Contained Asbestos

As you think about the Navy ships that were actually commissioned between the1930’s and 1980’s it is important to remember that more than 300 products were used on every ship that contained asbestos. In fact, it has been estimated that thousands of pounds of asbestos were actually used in many of the ships. This was used for fireproofing the ships as well. When asbestos is used in enclosed spaces, it increases the risk of developing mesothelioma. That is why these companies have been forced to set aside money into different trust funds.

Asbestos was also used when it came to small boats used for patrol and even for aircraft carriers. Asbestos was used in some of the following ways:

  • Engine and Boiler Rooms
  • Insulation
  • Tiles on the decks
  • Firewalls and even doors
  • Pipe Lagging
  • Fittings on the pipes
  • Gaskets, Valves, and Pumps
  • Wardrooms
  • Locations for berthing
  • Pump rooms
  • Galleys
  • Mess halls

Most of the individuals that served before the 1980s are at risk. By the time the 1970s came around, the EPA and OSHA started to put regulations into place and asbestos was no longer used on the newer ships. It was still, however, is found in the older ships. Removing it was not something that happened overnight.

Workers at Risk

Anyone working on a boat that was going through an overhaul was at risk. It did not matter what their role was. This is because of the work that takes place in a shipyard. There is always dust that has asbestos in it. This will put everyone at risk. Those that were at the highest risk included:

  • Boiler Technician
  • Pipefitter/Shipfitter
  • Hull Technician/Welder
  • Machinist Mate
  • Shipbuilder
  • Electricians Mate
  • Steelworker
  • Seabees
  • Damage Control Man
  • Machinery Repairman
  • Gunners Mate
  • Boatswains Mate
  • Aviation Machinist Mate
  • Aviation Boatswains Mate
  • Storekeepers
  • Fireman

This rate is higher for these individuals because of the amount of time that they were exposed. It also had a lot to do with the fact that they were working within confined spaces.

Unfortunately, asbestos fibers could also cling to personnel and their uniforms or belongings. Second-hand exposure can also lead to cases of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.


Taking Action

Working with a veteran’s benefits claims agent is the best way to go about getting the help that you might need. You will be working with an expert that knows their way around the system and they will be able to walk you through the process and help you successfully file your claim and receive the compensation you deserve.

Victims of asbestos exposure are entitled to assistance and compensation, which can help cover expenses from medical care and related travel to living expenses. Veterans are entitled to $2,900+ per month, which is also influenced by their marital and parental status.

Rate this