As U.S. troops are getting settled in statewide after a long and deadly eight-year war in Iraq, it’s a good time to talk about the risks that troops and veterans have of being diagnosed with mesothelioma.
This deadly and incurable form of cancer is more common in veterans, but it remains to be seen whether this current generation of soldiers will be exposed to asbestos and other materials that cause this form of cancer.
Our mesothelioma lawyers have seen many examples of older veterans who served our country faithfully for decades, only to have a frustrating end of their lives because of exposure to asbestos. In decades past, asbestos was commonly used in Navy shipyards.
Because it was a natural mineral and was flame-retardant, it was useful in making sure fires didn’t break out aboard the ships. It was used domestically in insulating homes, coating pipes and in common products, such as car parts, ceiling tiles and ceramics.
But years later, as researchers found people were getting sick, exposure to asbestos was determined to be the root cause. In many cases, corporate bosses found out about the risks, but did little to address them. Many people were left to suffer.
When a person is exposed to asbestos, even a small amount or for a short period of time, the fibers can create tumors years later. They don’t necessarily create noticeable symptoms, but can linger for years or decades before people are diagnosed. In some documented cases, people have been exposed to asbestos 50 years earlier before they are diagnosed with mesothelioma. By the time they are diagnosed, they usually only live another 12 months.
In other countries where military members may be deployed, the same restrictions on asbestos may not be in place. In the United States, asbestos is not officially banned, but it is no longer used. Presumably, the same rules apply to U.S.-owned military bases worldwide, as well. But cities and towns in other parts of the world likely have less stringent guidelines.
Mesothelioma is a constant issue because new forms of dangerous material that can cause it are being discovered every day. While older generations may be more likely to get this form of cancer from deacade-old exposure to asbestos, younger generations may not be any safer. Our veterans, who have put their lives on the line for our freedom, should be especially taken care of when they return home from duty. As troops continue come back from combat, our mesothelioma lawyers hope they don’t come back to discover they are ill.
The Ferraro Law Firm provides comprehensive legal services, including mesothelioma legal help. Call 1-800-275-3332 for a free and confidential consultation. Offices in Miami, Washington, D.C., and New York City.
More Blog Entries:
Department of Defense to Spend $16 Million to Research Mesothelioma, Other Cancers: January 19, 2012
Iraq war over, US Troops coming home, Obama says, by Ben Feller, Associated Press