How Veterans Become Infected With Mesothelioma
The easiest way for individuals to be exposed to asbestos is if airborne particles are inhaled. If the individual does, indeed, inhale the fibers, they are at high risk for developing certain types of lung related illnesses. This is true because asbestos is considered a powerful carcinogen that can disrupt the body's normal processes, especially in the lungs. Since asbestos particles are so small to begin with, it is obvious that they are able to lodge themselves within tiny crevices in the lungs and other areas of the body, such as heart and abdomen. As the particles sit in the delicate areas of the body, scarring develops. The scarring enables the cancer to grow many years after exposure. The cancer is often not diagnosed until later stages of the illness.
It is often hard to determine and diagnose whether the patient has mesothelioma or anything associated with lung related illnesses. Some people do not even realize that they have been exposed to asbestos at any point in their lives. Its use was so common that most people did not think twice about working in contaminated areas. This is especially true for those who served in the armed forces. Veterans who were in the service between 1940 and 1970 were most at risk for asbestos exposure. Even then, it was well documented that asbestos is a hazardous material that could potentially cause major health issues in the long run. Those who were involved in the Navy have an increased risk of developing an illness caused by asbestos especially if they were located below decks working on machinery. This is because asbestos was one of the top materials used in different shipyards around the country. The enclosed areas and poorly ventilated rooms below deck made it hard for the material to go anywhere but be inhaled by the people occupying that space. If the asbestos was disturbed or tampered with, there was more of a chance of contamination. Companies who sold products that contained asbestos did not forewarn the employees of proper precautions to take to protect themselves from contact. Often, military workers were not properly clothed or given the right equipment to protect themselves from coming into contact with asbestos. It has been researched that the greatest amounts of asbestos have come from contaminated shipyards through products and materials made with asbestos..
Prior to the 1980s, asbestos was not considered a dangerous material by most people. Even though there was substantial information and research on its negative effects, its use was continued throughout the nation. Veterans were not warned at the time that the materials and machinery that they were working with could, indeed, be infected with the hazardous substance. Today, there are numerous cases of veterans that are experiencing the symptoms of asbestosis, mesothelioma and other forms of diseases caused by their exposure many years ago. The military is an example of an employer who failed to warn workers about the danger of exposure to asbestos. Today, there is little being done to help veterans treat, diagnose, and be compensated for the harm that was caused to them so many years ago.
Last modified: December 24, 2010.