While the motto of the Coast Guard may be Semper Paratus — meaning Always Ready — I doubt many Coast Guard veterans expected that they might have to be ready to deal with deadly asbestos-related diseases decades after their service has ended. But, for many, that is exactly what has happened.
Sadly, just like many Navy vets, countless Coast Guard veterans were exposed to dangerous amounts of asbestos while serving their country. In fact, asbestos was once used throughout Coast Guard ships — from the engine rooms to the insulation and almost everywhere in between. Some other locations in which asbestos could be found include:
- Pipe insulation and fittings
- Electrical wiring
- Boiler room components
- Deck coatings
Anyone serving on asbestos-laden Coast Guard ships may have come into contact with this dangerous material at one time or another. And if unsuspecting Coast Guard vets inhaled asbestos fibers, they may eventually develop asbestos-related medical conditions, including a deadly cancer known as mesothelioma.
I Served Years Ago — Am I Still at Risk?
Unfortunately, victims may not experience symptoms of mesothelioma until years after asbestos exposure. This means that many Coast Guards vets may still yet develop mesothelioma, even though they haven’t been on a Coast Guard ship in decades.
Indeed, the only reason why there are fewer mesothelioma victims from the Coast Guard when compared to the Navy is that the Coast Guard is a relatively smaller branch. If you served in the Coast Guard and believe you may have developed mesothelioma, you need to seek medical attention right away. Then, you should speak to an attorney to see what legal options may be available.