Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure to U.S. Navy Veterans

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2013 | Medical Malpractice

U.S. Navy men and women generally serve our country as heroes for several years. Some serve at sea, some in shipyards, while others serve in decommissioning, manufacturing, etc. Many of these freedom fighters and protectors who served us so well were likely at risk for a dreaded disease known as mesothelioma.

Manufacturers of many products used to build U.S. Navy ships and bases used asbestos products to do so. Even though these manufacturers were aware of the dangers of the asbestos product, it was used anyway. U.S. military asbestos use continued into the 1970s before the government finally issue warnings.

With over 30 people dying each day from an asbestos-related death and about one-third of mesothelioma victims being associated with military or shipyard exposures, it’s kind of scary to have been one of these U.S. Navy heroes.

U.S. Navy veterans have highest rates of asbestos-related disease.

  • MMs (Machinist Mates) – helps make the ship go. Deals with steam turbines, turbo generators, pumps, and oil purifiers; elevators, refrigeration and air conditioning, gears for reduction and propulsion, and more. Many opportunities for exposure.
  • BTs (Boiler Technician) – repair, fix, and repair. Steam propulsion, testing water and fuel supplies for nuclear, gas, or electrically powered vessels. Serious exposure risk here.
  • Enginemen – keep the engines going. Repair engines on U.S. Navy ships, work on refrigeration and air conditioning systems, and more. Some boiler work also. Risk, risk, risk.
  • GSs (Gas Turbine System Technician) -keep the gas turbines cranked. Maintain propulsion systems such as shafts, gears, propellers, electronic circuitry, and more. Yep, the risk continues.

Asbestos Exposure possible/likely:

  • Worked below deck before 1990
  • BTs, welders, and pipefitters before 1990
  • Shipyard vets from 1930s-1990s
  • Veterans on ships whose keel laid before 1983
  • Anyone involved in asbestos removal or renovations

Be Aware of Asbestos Symptoms

  • Symptoms can take up to 50 years to appear
  • Asbestos used in engine rooms, on boilers, between steel wall plates and doors, to cover turbines, pumps, gaskets, and rope
  • Inhaled easily when disturbed

Highest Asbestos Risk Areas on Ships

  • Engines & boiler rooms, Damage control room, Pump & propulsions rooms
  • Turrets, magazines, sick bay, and ward room
  • Mess hall, galley, berthing, quarters, pilot house, and admiral’s cabin

U.S. Shipyards – The Numbers by States

Because workers from shipyards could unknowingly put their family at risk by bringing asbestos fibers into the home, the danger does not just end at the worker level. Some states have an increased proportion of shipyards:

  • California – 15
  • Texas – 15
  • Washington – 14
  • Oregon – 11
  • Florida – 9
  • Louisiana – 7
  • Virginia – 7
  • Massachusetts – 6
  • New York – 6

An important fact to remember: Asbestos exposure at any level, to any degree, at any time IS NOT SAFE.

If you believe a loved one has been exposed to Asbestos during their time in the military contact our attorneys today to discuss possible legal options.

Mark Kaire has been practicing law in Miami for nearly 30 years. He is dedicated to helping the injured people of Miami receive compensation. Mr. Kaire has been blogging on Miami’s legal issues for many years.