For decades, asbestos could be found throughout many U.S. Navy ships. In fact, most U.S. Navy vessels built between the 1930s and the 1970s used asbestos for a variety of purposes, including insulation and fireproofing. Some estimates even claim that as many as 300 asbestos-containing products were approved by the Navy for use in its ships – resulting in literally tons of this dangerous substance on each individual vessel.
The sad reality is that anyone working on these ships or their construction – including service members and shipyard workers – were likely exposed to dangerous amounts of asbestos. And now, years later, many of these same individuals are developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related health conditions. Indeed, according to some sources, nearly 30 percent of all new mesothelioma cases involve Navy vets who were exposed to asbestos during their years of military service.
Why is Asbestos so Hazardous?
Even though asbestos is a naturally occurring substance, it can still be dangerous, particularly when used in ship construction. For instance, when asbestos is disturbed, its microscopic fibers are released into the air and can enter a person’s lungs as he or she breathes. Over time, these asbestos fibers can cause significant medical conditions, including mesothelioma.
Even worse, these conditions may not even develop until 20, 30 or even 50 years after exposure – meaning many Navy vets who served in the 1970s may still be at risk of developing a deadly medical condition.
Fortunately, victims of asbestos exposure do have legal options available. To learn more, contact an experienced asbestos attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer can explain your legal rights and help you obtain the justice you deserve.