Navy Veterans & Mesothelioma

Asbestos Risk for Navy Veterans

Asbestos has affected Navy veterans more than any other military branch. When naval ships were constructed, asbestos was used consistently because of its heat-resistant properties. The confined spaces where sailors lived and the lack of ventilation increased their exposure to asbestos dust and fibers. Navy veterans have the highest percentage chance of developing mesothelioma among all other military branches.

The Navy understood the risks of asbestos all the way back in 1939, when Navy officials recognized the hazards of asbestos in the construction of ships. Despite these findings, the Navy ignored the health risks and continued to use asbestos until the regulations of the 1970s. The most common reason for the Navy’s continued use of asbestos was the cost-effectiveness to insulate ships.

When you talk with a Patient Advocate it is important to provide a detailed history of your Naval career. What ship you lived on? What job you performed? How long were you in the Navy? This type of detail is important for both your future health care and any potential lawsuit you may want to file.

The Naval Ships All Contained Asbestos

Asbestos was used in every Navy ship from the early 1930s to the late 1960s. Because of its amazing heat-resistant properties, asbestos was a perfect fit for ships that generated massive amounts of heat in small areas. These confined areas made it almost impossible for sailors not to be exposed to asbestos.

The high rates in which Navy veterans develop mesothelioma are caused by the materials used on these ships and the companies that manufactured these construction products. These companies were legally bound to create asbestos trust funds for victims of mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure caused by their products. Speak to a Patient Advocate and see if you may have a mesothelioma lawsuit.

The Naval Jobs That Exposed Them to Asbestos

When a ship was at dock and being worked on, sailors were at the greatest exposure risk because asbestos material was being stripped, cut into and manipulated. This means that asbestos dust and fibers were entering the air in small confined areas.

Here are some of the naval jobs that exposed sailors to asbestos:

  • Boiler Tech
  • Shipbuilder
  • Electrician
  • Pipefitter
  • Welder
  • Machinist
  • Steelworker
  • Seabees
  • Control man
  • Gunners Mate
  • Fireman

If you performed any of the jobs above, then you have a higher chance of developing mesothelioma in the future.

Additional Resources

What Should Naval Veterans Diagnosed with Mesothelioma Do?

Navy veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma may want to file a lawsuit against the company that manufactured an asbestos product used by the Navy. To get more information on filing a mesothelioma lawsuit, visit our section on Legal Options.