The men and women who serve in our nation’s armed forces step forward with willingness to put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms. Sometimes, though, the dangers they face in service have nothing to do with combat. In the case of Air Force veterans exposed to asbestos, they have been unwittingly endangered at their homes, in their workplaces, and in the aircraft they’ve flown.
Beginning in the 1920’s and continuing until the 1980’s, U.S. Air Force bases and aircraft maintenance stations were hotbeds of asbestos exposure. This exposure came from asbestos-containing components like brakes, adhesives, epoxies, jet exhaust insulation, electrical equipment, and more. The HVAC systems, boilers, furnaces, walls, and soundproofing panels also contained asbestos. Why? Because in the Air Force, as in all branches of the U.S. military, asbestos was prized for its heat resistance, durability, and affordability.
Sadly, many diseases are linked to asbestos exposure, including mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. The manufacturers of products that contained asbestos were aware of the risks involved, but chose to hide the facts about asbestos from the public and the military. It was not until the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began introducing bans on asbestos that the Air Force began taking precautionary measures, but by then, many veterans had been exposed to high levels of asbestos.
One of the biggest risks from asbestos is mesothelioma. This rare and aggressive form of cancer affects the linings of major organs, and there is currently no cure for it. That’s why a veteran who contracts this illness after serving in the Air Force may consider a mesothelioma lawsuit. Before you decide to go that route, though, it’s important to be aware that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has programs in place to offer compensation, benefits, and assistance to veterans who were diagnosed with mesothelioma. There is also compensation available to surviving loved ones of veterans who died of this disease. Vogelzang Law has information that can help you determine which benefits are available to you.
While the use of asbestos has abated, it’s not completely gone from Air Force bases. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined that asbestos was still present in Air Force facilities as recently as 2002. How do you know if your time in the Air Force exposed you to dangerous asbestos? Some jobs exposed service members to more asbestos than others. In fact, some of the following jobs caused daily exposure to asbestos:
- Aircraft Mechanic
- Aviation Machinist’s Mate
- Boiler Tender
- Gunner’s Mate
- HVAC Specialist
- Vehicle Manager
At Vogelzang Law, we understand the issues faced by Air Force veterans exposed to asbestos. For over 20 years, we’ve litigated asbestos lawsuits, gaining in the process a wealth of specialized knowledge and resources, along with compassion for our many clients. These are the qualities that allow us to advocate wholeheartedly for our clients, serving them with a unified team and a deep understanding of the difficulties that accompany an asbestos-related diagnosis. If you’re looking for a mesothelioma lawyer passionate about representing Air Force veterans with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses, call (312) 466-1669 or contact us through our website.