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Air Force Veterans and Mesothelioma

The brave men and women of the United States Air Force have been defending our freedom since that branch of the armed services broke away from the U.S. Army in 1947.  Hundreds of thousands of brave Americans have sacrificed their time, their service, and their lives, but Air Force enlistees and veterans are facing a deadly foe that no high tech jet fighter can ever take out.  Because the armed forces constructed so many of their facilities with asbestos materials, current members and veterans of the Air Force are now fighting mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma, often referred to as asbestos cancer,  is caused by inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers and veterans are one of the largest populations affected by this incurable disease.

Veterans Have Higher Mesothelioma Risk Profiles

When those brave young men and women signed on the dotted line to serve in the United States Air Force, they didn’t know that one of their most dangerous enemies would be a near-microscopic mineral.  However, because the timeframe in which the U.S. Armed Forces consolidated its power and expanded its infrastructure coincided with the widespread use of asbestos in building materials, many Air Force facilities were constructed using contaminated materials.  From the 1930s to the 1980s, it wasn’t uncommon to use asbestos concrete, ceiling and floor tiles, construction-grade adhesives, and even asbestos wallboard in military barracks, mess halls, machines shops, garages, and other installations all over the world. 

However, when the true danger associated with asbestos came to light, the Air Force was one of the first branches of the military to take effective action.  The Asbestos GRADE (Guidance for Rating and Assessing Damage and Exposure) system was adopted in 1986 and is still used today to assess the presence and threat level of asbestos within bases and buildings to help prioritize any asbestos abatement programs.

While this is a step in the right direction, many servicemen and women have already been exposed to harmful levels of the carcinogen.

Aircraft Mechanics and Support Personnel Hit Hardest

One particular subset of Air Force veterans with mesothelioma is airplane mechanics and others associated with the servicing of these craft.  Because asbestos added structural integrity and heat resistance to products, it was used extensively in aircraft brakes and as an insulator in engines and other hot zones. 

Unfortunately, many of these mechanics and support personal were exposed to the most deadly form of asbestos:  airborne fibers.  These fibers are so tiny that they appear to be dust-like and can easily enter the human body without the victim even knowing.  These fibers break out of asbestos materials, such as brake pads, through normal wear and tear.  That meant that mechanics simply doing routine maintenance on these contaminated craft were put at high levels of risk.

Air Force Veterans Have the Right to Seek Mesothelioma Compensation

If you served in the Air Force and were exposed to asbestos, either knowingly or unknowingly, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis, you are likely entitled to seek compensation.  Additionally, if your loved ones came into contact with asbestos through contaminated clothing or other forms of “second-hand” transmission and suffer from mesothelioma, they also may be entitled.  To find out what your rights as a veteran or family member of a veteran are for filing a mesothelioma lawsuit or asbestos bankruptcy claim, contact our office today at 415-332-4262 to speak directly with one of our expert asbestos attorneys and receive a free case evaluation.  Let us help you and your loved ones receive the restitution deserved.