Air Force Veterans & Mesothelioma

Asbestos Risk for Air Force Veterans

The asbestos-laden building materials used at Air Force bases and barracks in addition to the asbestos material used in aircrafts have led to Air Force veterans having high risks of developing mesothelioma. During World War II Korean War and Vietnam War, our Air Force members were exposed at a very high rate. Recently, all of our military branches have made sure that asbestos material use has been eliminated, but the use of asbestos by the Air Force during the 1940’s through the 1970s caused thousands of soldiers to be exposed. The Air Force, like other branches of military, used asbestos because of its heat-resistant properties and also because it could be used in building bases and barracks.

The National Security Act of 1947 created the Air Force as its own individual military branch. Over the next few decades, a massive number of aircrafts were built with asbestos products. The exposure to asbestos during this period can now be seen in the number of Air Force veterans who are being diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Aircraft & Bases Contained Asbestos

Even though the Air Force is nearly 70 years old, it is our newest branch of military and has the shortest timeframe of asbestos exposure for military veterans. Since asbestos regulations limited the use of asbestos by the U.S. military during the 1970s and 80s, Air Force veterans do not have the high rate of mesothelioma diagnosed among other groups of veterans. This does not mean that Air Force veterans are not at high risk, it just means they had a shorter timeframe to be exposed. If you served in the Air Force during the Cold War, chances are you were exposed to asbestos due to the high rate of use by all U.S. military branches.

Was Asbestos Used in Air Force Planes?
Yes, asbestos was used in the construction of aircraft and aircraft carriers used by the U.S. Air Force. Asbestos was readily used in making brakes, heating systems, heating shields and insulation for engines and planes. If you were a mechanic in the Air Force, then you are at an even higher risk to develop mesothelioma because of your asbestos exposure. Generally, there were no precautions taken by mechanics to protect themselves from asbestos dust and fibers.

Was there Asbestos on Air Force Bases?
Air Force bases and barracks were constructed using asbestos building materials. The Centers for Disease Control has done a number of studies showing that Air Force bases contained insulation, wallboard and flooring tiles that contained a high percentage of asbestos. The CDC also has found pipes with asbestos insulation wrapped around them and asbestos-coated pipelines.

What Should Air Force Veterans Diagnosed with Mesothelioma Do?

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

Other Veterans at risk of Asbestos Exposure:  Army Veterans, Coast Guard Veterans, Marine Veterans, Navy Veterans

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