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Bob O'Donnell on Working with Veterans with Asbestos Diseases
While many brave sailors and other naval personnel have lost their lives fighting on the frontlines for our nation, countless other brave individuals have suffered quieter fates from the asbestos they were exposed to while serving our country.
U.S. Navy veterans face a very high risk of developing asbestos lung cancer from asbestos in ships. Despite the growing knowledge in the 1930s that asbestos exposure could lead to health problems like lung cancer, the U.S. Navy bypassed safety concerns in the face of war.
The U.S. Naval fleet grew from 394 vessels in 1939 to 6768 in 1945. Fireproof, lightweight, inexpensive and corrosion-proof, asbestos was once considered ideal for shipbuilding and was used extensively throughout ships built from the late 1930s on.
Asbestos was considered so important to shipbuilding that the U.S. government once mandated its use in military equipment. Asbestos on Navy ships was everywhere. It was used for insulation and pipe coverings, gaskets, felts, meters, deck coverings, boilers, adhesives, and many other places.
It was used as heavily in engine rooms as it was in the crew’s living quarters. There are many stories of sailors sleeping below asbestos-covered pipes waking up to find themselves covered in asbestos dust.
Asbestos on Navy ships was extensive, and covered the interiors of most types of ships, including:
If you or a loved one was exposed to asbestos on Navy ships, and have developed lung cancer as a result, you may qualify for a financial settlement.
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