Asbestos is a toxic fiber that can cause serious illness or even death to people exposed to it. While any person could be at risk, people in certain occupations have a higher risk of developing conditions like mesothelioma than others. As we discussed in an older blog post, those at a higher risk include members of the military.
If you or someone you love serve or previously served in the military, asbestos exposure could pose a threat to you and your health.
Common points of exposure
Servicemembers can be exposed to asbestos in a range of environments, including:
- In countries with less stringent laws regulating the use of asbestos
- Older or demolished buildings
- Construction zones
- Motor vehicle manufacturing or repair
These environments can put people in contact with asbestos-containing products. While these products may not be dangerous when left intact or undisturbed, asbestos can be released into the air if damaged or disturbed during demolitions, renovations, explosions, fires or construction.
Military members often work or live in these areas without proper personal protective equipment. As a result, they can breathe in toxic fibers, which can cause mesothelioma.
And it is not just the servicemembers in these environments who are at risk; their families may also be. They can be exposed when their loved one comes home with asbestos-containing dust on their clothes, boots, boots or body. They might also live in dangerous places, like close to an asbestos mine or in an unsafe or older building.
Resources in place to help
Military members and their families can be eligible for benefits to help cover the cost of medical treatment and other damages if they develop mesothelioma. These remedies could be available through:
- Disability benefits from Veterans Affairs
- Personal injury claims against a negligent party tied to the asbestos
- Workers’ compensation benefits
- Administrative claims
The compensation and benefits you or they may qualify for depends on where exposure occurred and who is responsible. However, this process is complicated, especially if the exposure was overseas. Legal guidance can be crucial to pursue the support you or they deserve.
Members of the military already face threats to their safety every day. Unfortunately, asbestos exposure is one threat most people don’t consider or recognize until it is too late. Should veterans develop mesothelioma, knowing there are resources available can help.