Air Force Bases With Asbestos

The U.S. Air Force built over 100 bases using asbestos-containing products between the 1930s and 1980s. Since private manufacturers hid the dangers of asbestos, anyone serving on these bases may be at risk of a cancer called mesothelioma. View our full list of Air Force bases with asbestos and learn how to get help for mesothelioma.

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Asbestos on U.S. Air Force Bases Explained

aircraft carrier in the evening sun set

The U.S. Air Force built many bases and buildings with asbestos products because they were highly durable and good insulators.

However, anyone exposed to asbestos fibers while living on Air Force bases could develop mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases.

Air Force bases used asbestos products like:

  • Electrical equipment
  • Flooring and floor tiles
  • Gaskets
  • Insulation
  • Other construction materials

The health risks were hidden from Air Force personnel by the makers of asbestos-based products, who put financial gain ahead of human life for decades.

Air Force Veterans and Mesothelioma Video Thumbnail

Video Summary: U.S. Air Force veterans could develop mesothelioma if they were exposed to asbestos during their service. These veterans now qualify for VA benefits and private compensation.

For decades, asbestos was considered a miracle material because of its heat resistance and fireproofing properties. The United States Air Force used it extensively in planes and bases between the 1930s and early 1980s for these reasons.

Unfortunately, those who served in the Air Force during this time frame have a higher risk of developing mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
Air Force veterans working with or around asbestos-containing airplane parts could unknowingly inhale or swallow the fibers and get sick later in life.

Many Air Force veterans are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year, even though they were exposed decades ago.

Thankfully, Air Force veterans with mesothelioma can receive benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Mesothelioma VA benefits include disability compensation, health care, pensions, and more.

U.S. Air Force veterans with mesothelioma may also qualify to file private claims for additional compensation. These types of claims are filed against the makers of asbestos-based products, not the military or government.

We owe a debt of gratitude to our Air Force veterans for their service and sacrifice. If you or a loved one is an Air Force veteran with mesothelioma, contact the Mesothelioma Veterans Center today to get help accessing VA benefits, financial aid, and medical care.

Air Force veterans with mesothelioma may be able to pursue financial and medical benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), as well as legal compensation from the companies responsible for their suffering.

We can help you file for or increase your mesothelioma VA benefits for free right now.

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List of U.S. Air Force Bases with Asbestos

Below is a list of over 100 Air Force bases that used asbestos-containing products. See if a base you served on may have put you at risk.

  • Alabama
    • Brookley Air Force Base
    • Gunter Air Force Base
    • Maxwell Air Force Base
  • Alaska
    • Eielson Air Force Base
    • Elmendorf Air Force Base
    • Ladd Air Force Base
    • Tin City Air Force Station
  • Arizona
    • Davis-Monthan Air Force Base
    • Luke Air Force Base
  • Arkansas
    • Eacker Air Force Base (AKA Blytheville Air Force Base)
    • Little Rock Air Force Base
  • California
    • Beale Air Force Base
    • Camp Parks Air Force Base
    • Castle Air Force Base, Merced
    • Edwards Air Force Base (AKA Muroc Air Force Base)
    • Hamilton Air Force Base
    • Los Angeles Air Force Base
    • March Air Force Base (AKA March Air Reserve Base)
    • Mather Air Force Base
    • Mcclellan Air Force Base
    • Norton Air Force Base
    • Travis Air Force Base
    • Onizuka Air Force Station
    • Oxnard Air Force Base
    • Vandenberg Air Force Base (AKA Vandenberg Space Force Base)
  • Colorado
    • Buckley Air Force Base (AKA Buckley Space Force Base)
    • Lowry Air Force Base
    • Peterson Air Force Base
    • United States Air Force Academy
  • Delaware
    • Dover Air Force Base
  • Florida
    • Patrick Air Force Base
    • Cape Kennedy Air Force Station (AKA Cape Canaveral Space Force Station)
    • Eglin Air Force Base
    • Homestead Air Force Base (AKA Homestead Air Reserve Base)
    • Hurlburt Field
    • MacDill Air Force Base
    • McCoy Air Force Base (AKA Pinecastle Air Force Base)
    • Tyndall Air Force Base
  • Georgia
    • Dobbins Air Force Base (AKA Dobbins Air Reserve Base)
    • Hunter Air Force Base (AKA Hunter Army Airfield)
    • Robins Air Force Base
    • Turner Air Force Base (AKA Naval Air Station Albany)
  • Hawaii
    • Hickam Air Force Base
  • Idaho
    • Mountain Home Air Force Base
  • Illinois
    • Chanute Air Force Base
    • Hanna City Air Force Station
    • Scott Air Force Base
  • Indiana
    • Bunker Hill Air Force Base (AKA Grissom Air Force Base/Grissom Air Reserve Base)
  • Kansas
    • Forbes Air Force Base
    • Liberal Army Air Field
    • McConnell Air Force Base
    • Schilling Air Force Base (AKA Smoky Hill Army Air Field)
  • Maine
    • Loring Air Force Base (AKA Limestone Air Force Base)
    • Topsham Air Force Base
  • Maryland
    • Andrews Air Force Base
  • Massachusetts
    • Hanscom Air Force Base
    • North Truro Air Force Base
    • Otis Air Force Base (AKA Otis Air National Guard Base)
    • Westover Air Reserve Base
  • Michigan
    • K. I. Sawyer Air Force Base
    • Selfridge Air Force Base (AKA Selfridge Air National Guard Base)
    • Wurtsmith Air Force Base
  • Minnesota
    • Duluth Air National Guard Base
  • Mississippi
    • Greenville Air Force Base
    • Keesler Air Force Base
  • Missouri
    • Richards-Gebaur Air Force Station (AKA Richards-Gebaur Air Reserve Station), Kansas City
    • Whiteman Air Force Base, Johnson County
  • Montana
    • Glasgow Air Force Base
    • Malmstrom Air Force Base
    • Miles City Air Force Station
  • Nebraska
    • Offutt Air Force Base
  • Nevada
    • Nellis Air Force Base
    • Stead Air Force Base
  • New Hampshire
    • Portsmouth Air Force Base (AKA Pease Air Force Base)
  • New Jersey
    • Gibbsboro Air Force Station
    • Mcguire Air Force Base
  • New Mexico
    • Holloman Air Force Base
    • Kirtland Air Force Base
  • New York
    • Griffiss Air Force Base
    • Hancock Field Air National Guard Base (AKA Syracuse Air Force Station)
    • Mitchel Air Force Base
    • Plattsburgh Air Force Base
    • Sampson Air Force Base
    • Stewart Air Force Base
  • North Dakota
    • Grand Forks Air Force Base
    • Minot Air Force Base
  • Ohio
    • Lockbourne Air Force Base (AKA Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base)
    • Newark Air Force Base
    • Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
  • Oklahoma
    • Altus Air Force Base
    • Clinton-Sherman Air Force Base
    • Tinker Air Force Base
  • Pennsylvania
    • Benton Air Force Station
    • Olmsted Air Force Base (AKA Harrisburg Air National Guard Base)
  • Rhode Island
    • Quonset Point Air National Guard Station
  • South Carolina
    • Charleston Air Force Base
  • South Dakota
    • Ellsworth Air Force Base
  • Tennessee
    • Arnold Air Force Base
  • Texas
    • Amarillo Air Force Base
    • Bergstrom Air Force Base
    • Brooks Air Force Base
    • Carswell Air Force Base
    • Kelly Air Force Base (AKA Kelly Field)
    • Lackland Air Force Base
    • Laredo Air Force Base
    • Laughlin Air Force Base
    • Perrin Air Force Base
    • Randolph Air Force Base
    • Sheppard Air Force Base
    • Webb Air Force Base (AKA Big Spring Air Force Base)
  • Utah
    • Hill Air Force Base
  • Vermont
    • Ethan Allen Air Force Base (AKA Burlington Air National Guard Base)
  • Virginia
    • Langley Air Force Base
  • Washington
    • Fairchild Air Force Base
    • Larson Air Force Base (AKA Moses Lake Army Air Base)
    • Mcchord Air Force Base
    • Othello Air Force Station
  • Wisconsin
    • Truax Air Force Base (AKA Truax Field Air National Guard Base)
  • Wyoming
    • Francis E. Warren Air Force Base

Even if you don’t see an Air Force base you served on above, you may still have been exposed to asbestos while serving in the military.

Every branch of the military relied on asbestos products in bases, vehicles, and ships for decades before the risks became public knowledge. As a result, hundreds of veterans develop mesothelioma each year.

Notable U.S. Air Force Bases with Asbestos

Learn how key U.S. Air Force bases used asbestos-containing products and how this put veterans and their loved ones at risk of mesothelioma.

Edwards Air Force Base

Edwards Air Force Base in California has been in use since the 1930s, and many of its buildings contained asbestos.

Two green-grey Air Force bases. The left one is shaped in a semicircle and the right one is shaped in a square

The Los Angeles Times reported that $1 million was spent to remove asbestos insulation from the Edwards Air Force Base Hospital, which had been built in 1955.

Today, the base follows strict guidelines to ensure that there is no asbestos exposure during new construction or renovations, according to its website.

Lackland Air Force Base

Construction on Texas' Lackland Air Force Base started in 1941, just before the United States entered World War II. It is now part of Joint Base San Antonio.

Many buildings on this base contained asbestos, including the:

  • Academic hall
  • Hospital
  • Nursery
  • Science laboratory

Asbestos has been found in some buildings on base even today. In 2021, a group of families sued a private company managing Lackland’s base housing and housing on two other bases after finding asbestos, mold, and lead paint.

Further, in 2023, workers had to use care in demolishing Wilford Hall Medical Center (located on base grounds) due to asbestos concerns. The facility closed in 2017.

Get help filing or maximizing your VA benefits for free if you or a loved one served on a U.S. Air Force base and now has mesothelioma.

Randolph Air Force Base

Opening in June 1930 near San Antonio, Randolph Air Force Base originally started as a training center under the name Randolph Field. It is now part of Joint Base San Antonio.

Asbestos was used in the base’s:

  • Air conditioning facility
  • Hangars
  • Housing
  • Maintenance rooms
  • Storage areas

Families living in base housing sued in 2019, alleging that private contractors failed to address problems with asbestos and other toxins, and contaminated dust filled the homes' air.

Scott Air Force Base

Scott Air Force Base was built in 1917 in southern Illinois. While the risks of asbestos became widely known in the early 1980s, asbestos remained in buildings on Scott Air Force Base into the 2000s.

In 2008, a major renovation project began on Scott Air Force Base to safely demolish older asbestos-containing buildings, costing nearly $200 million.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

Many structures on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base used asbestos products, and some are still present today.

A 2020 report from the Department of Defense’s Inspector General found that the military family housing on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and seven other bases may have exposed people to carcinogens like asbestos.

If you got sick from serving on an Air Force base with asbestos. Learn about your options now in our Free Veterans Packet.

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International Air Force Bases With Asbestos

Asbestos was not only used on Air Force bases within the United States. International U.S. Air Force bases may have also contained this dangerous material — potentially putting U.S. soldiers at risk abroad.

International Air Force bases built with asbestos include:

  • Aviano Air Base (Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy)
  • Clark Air Base (Luzon Island, the Philippines)
  • Kadena Air Base (Okinawa, Japan)
  • Ramstein Air Base (Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany)
  • Suwon Air Base (Suwon, South Korea)
  • Torrejon Air Force Base (Madrid, Spain)

Asbestos was left behind on many of these bases despite cleanup efforts. It is believed that hundreds have gotten sick from asbestos exposure at Kadena Air Base alone.

How Was Asbestos Used on U.S. Air Force Bases?

Asbestos-containing products could be found throughout Air Force bases and buildings.

Asbestos could be found in:

  • Boilers
  • Cement sheeting
  • Doors
  • Drywall
  • Electric wiring and equipment
  • Flooring, and floor tiles
  • Gaskets
  • Heating systems
  • Insulation
  • Pipes
  • Roofing

The Air Force also used asbestos in the clutches, brakes, heat shields, and engines of planes stored on these bases.

Jobs on Air Force Bases with a Risk of Asbestos Exposure

Air Force mechanics were at a high risk of exposure since they worked with asbestos-containing materials like brakes used aboard planes on a daily basis.

Other Airmen at risk of asbestos exposure on base included:

  • Construction and demolition workers
  • Electricians
  • Firefighters
  • Welders

The U.S. military believed asbestos was a safe, cheap, and highly effective construction material for decades. Makers of asbestos-based products hid the dangerous facts about asbestos to keep their profits high.

However, there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Air Force personnel exposed even once to asbestos on base could develop mesothelioma 10-50 years later. Those at the greatest risk worked with or around asbestos products on a daily basis.

File or increase your mesothelioma VA benefits for free if you developed mesothelioma after serving in the U.S. Air Force with our team’s help.

Secondhand Exposure Among Family Members

The family members of Air Force personnel who lived on base may have also been put at risk of asbestos exposure.

Military service members may have carried asbestos fibers and dust home on their clothes or skin after a day’s work, unknowingly exposing their families.

This is known as secondhand asbestos exposure and can cause loved ones to develop mesothelioma decades later.

VA Benefits and Compensation for Air Force Veterans Exposed to Asbestos on Base

U.S. Air Force veterans with mesothelioma can pursue benefits from the VA and financial compensation after a diagnosis. Learn about benefits available to veterans who served on Air Force bases with asbestos below.

VA Benefits

There is a wide range of mesothelioma VA benefits for U.S. veterans with this cancer, including monthly disability compensation, health care, and support for next of kin.

The VA almost always rates mesothelioma as a 100% disability, allowing many veterans to get $3,946.25 each month.

Further, top mesothelioma doctors are within the VA health care network, and veterans with a 100% disability rating often pay little to nothing for treatment.

We can help you file or maximize your mesothelioma VA benefits right now.

Need help filing for VA benefits?

VA-Accredited Attorney Eric Hall (Major USAFR) can help you file for free.

  • 20+ years of experience
  • Get or increase your VA payouts
  • Access benefits with no stress

Eic Hall VA accredited attorney

Contact Eric Hall

Legal Compensation

Veterans with mesothelioma may be able to pursue compensation through asbestos lawsuits, which award $1 million or more on average.

These lawsuits are filed against the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products, not the military or government.

Lawsuits won’t affect a veteran’s ability to file a VA claim. See if you can work with experienced mesothelioma attorneys to file now.

Asbestos Trust Funds

Many manufacturers of asbestos-containing products filed for bankruptcy to avoid lawsuits, but they were forced to set up trust funds if they wanted to stay in business.

These asbestos trust funds contain an estimated $30 billion today, and filing claims can allow veterans to get money without going to court. We can help eligible veterans pursue compensation from these trusts right now.

We Can Help Veterans Harmed by Asbestos on Air Force Bases

Hundreds of U.S. veterans are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year after serving on Air Force bases with asbestos or being exposed in other ways decades ago.

The Mesothelioma Veterans Center can help you or a U.S. veteran you love get the resources needed to fight this cancer.

Work with our VA-accredited claims agents and patient advocates to:

  • Access or increase your mesothelioma VA benefits
  • Find top mesothelioma doctors near you
  • Pursue justice and peace of mind for you and your family
  • Secure compensation from manufacturers

The Mesothelioma Veterans Center is the #1 resource for veterans with mesothelioma, and we’ve helped thousands of other veterans and families who have turned to us for assistance after a diagnosis.

Request our Free Veterans Packet now to see all the ways we may be able to assist you.

Air Force Bases with Asbestos FAQs

What military bases have asbestos?

Over 100 Air Force bases were built with asbestos-containing products.

These bases include:

  • Edwards Air Force Base
  • Scott Air Force Base
  • Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

We can help you access VA benefits and other key resources if you served on an Air Force base and now have mesothelioma. Call (877) 450-8973 to find out your eligibility.

Why was asbestos used on Air Force bases if it was harmful?

Manufacturers of asbestos-based products hid the risks of asbestos from all branches of the military, which used asbestos as it was fireproof, durable, and a good insulator.

Once the dangers were revealed, renovation efforts began to remove most asbestos from Air Force bases. However, many Air Force personnel had already been exposed.

What if I was exposed to asbestos in the military?

See a doctor if symptoms of mesothelioma (a cough, shortness of breath, weight loss) appear and you were stationed at an Air Force base with asbestos decades ago.

Mesothelioma has a long latency period, so symptoms may not appear until 10-50 years after exposure.

Further, if you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s in your best interest to explore resources like VA benefits and compensation that may be available to you. Get our Free Veterans Packet to learn more about your options.

Did U.S. Air Force planes contain asbestos?

Yes. Asbestos was found in Air Force planes and other aircraft. Planes relied on asbestos-containing brakes, brake pads, electrical wiring, gaskets, and insulation for durability and heat resistance.

Those working on or around Air Force planes (such as mechanics) while on base faced a high risk of asbestos exposure, and they could be in danger of mesothelioma today.

Is asbestos still used in the military?

Yes, in some cases. A few Air Force bases still have buildings that contain asbestos today despite efforts to remove it.

Older asbestos-containing materials don't pose a threat if they are in good shape and not disturbed, but the risks are not to be taken lightly.

A group of Air Force and Army families recently filed a lawsuit against a private company managing the housing units of Sheppard Air Force Base, Lackland Air Force Base, and Fort Bliss after dealing with asbestos and other toxins.

Veterans Support Team
Christopher Dryfoos PhotoWritten by:

Contributing Author

Christopher Dryfoos is a journalist and member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). As the grandson of the U.S. Navy’s first forensic pathologist, he aims to help veterans with mesothelioma access needed care.

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