Veterans make up one-third of all people diagnosed with mesothelioma. Each military branch used asbestos until the 1980s, putting our honored military service veterans at risk. Thankfully, veterans today have many resources and support options that can help them receive the treatment they need to extend their life expectancy. There is also compensation to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses.
Mesothelioma Diagnoses in Veterans
Many military members were exposed to asbestos during their service, causing high rates of mesothelioma among veterans. Mesothelioma symptoms don’t appear until 20-50 years after a person is exposed to asbestos, meaning veterans who served long ago are at risk today.
The U.S. military used asbestos for its fire retardant and insulating properties. But the military was unaware of the deadly health risks associated with the substance. Asbestos manufacturers hid this information from the government to continue selling their products.
Eventually, OSHA began implementing limits on asbestos exposure. Protective equipment like respirators became standard. The military also systematically phased out asbestos and replaced asbestos-containing materials with safe products. However, it was virtually impossible to eliminate all asbestos in the military, as it was used too widely.
If you’re a veteran with mesothelioma, we can help. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has financial benefits and mesothelioma doctors. Our VA-accredited claims agent can process your claim and help you get the most out of VA benefits. Get started on your claim now.
Get information on:
- Treatment Options
- Mesothelioma Specialists
- Veterans Benefits
Mesothelioma Veterans Facts
- Asbestos is the only known cause of pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma
- Asbestos was used in every military branch from the 1930s to the early 1980s
- The U.S. Navy is the military branch with the highest rate of asbestos use
- Eligible veterans can qualify for mesothelioma VA benefits including compensation and free treatments
- The VA Health Care System has some of the top mesothelioma specialists available
- The Mesothelioma Veterans Center can help veterans start their claims and receive compensation
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral mined from the ground. Once called “the miracle mineral,” asbestos is now known for its cancer-causing properties.
Asbestos is a group of six different types of minerals that are all composed of microscopic fibers. These fibers are made up of tinsel-like threads that are incredibly dense, durable and virtually indestructible. It has a natural ability to withstand corrosion and heat. It’s also abundant throughout the world. These factors made asbestos a sought-after mineral to use in industrial construction.
Many construction materials have been made with asbestos, including:
Asbestos was used abundantly and can be found globally in places like:
When asbestos products are disturbed, tiny fibers can loosen and become airborne. People working around asbestos are susceptible to inhaling or ingesting these fibers. Asbestos fibers can become lodged deep within the protective linings that cover the chest, abdomen or heart.
Over time, the fibers cause irritation within the tissues of these protective linings and can trigger the tissue cells to mutate into mesothelioma cancer cells.
If left untreated, mesothelioma cancer cells will continue to divide and form into tumors. Targeted treatments can shrink these tumors, kill mesothelioma cells and stop or slow cancer progression.