Mesothelioma & U.S. Air Force Veterans

U.S. Air Force veterans may have come into contact with asbestos from the aircraft they flew and the buildings they lived in. This is because asbestos was used in many essential building and equipment parts for decades. Unfortunately, asbestos exposure can lead to mesothelioma or other diseases like asbestosis and lung cancer.

Sokolove Law can help U.S. Air Force veterans and their families receive compensation and justice through asbestos trust funds, lawsuits, and VA benefits.

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Mesothelioma Risk for U.S. Air Force Veterans

United States Air Force veterans have served bravely and selflessly since the 1940s. However, many service members were unaware they faced an unseen enemy while they served: asbestos.

US Air ForceUp until the 1980s, the use of asbestos was widespread on U.S. Air Force bases. It also was used in jets, propeller planes, helicopters, and other aircraft equipment.

When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced bans on certain uses of asbestos, the U.S. Air Force started taking precautionary measures of their own — but not before the damage had already been done.

Call Sokolove Law right now at (800) 647-3434 if you've been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease.

Today, U.S. Air Force veterans are at an increased risk of developing asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Mesothelioma affects the linings of major organs and has no cure.

Sokolove Law has over 40 years of experience assisting U.S. Air Force veterans and their families access health care and pursue justice for their exposure to asbestos. Get a free case review today to learn more.

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Legal Compensation for Asbestos Exposure in the U.S. Air Force

Many companies that manufactured asbestos-containing products knew of the dangers that asbestos caused to human health. However, they chose to hide this information from the U.S. government and military to prioritize their profits over people's lives.

U.S. Air Force veterans may be eligible to file for mesothelioma compensation from the companies and manufacturers responsible for their asbestos exposure.

U.S. Air Force veterans may receive financial compensation from:

  • Asbestos trust funds: Bankrupt asbestos-related companies established special court-ordered trust funds to compensate current and future asbestos exposure victims and their family members.
  • Mesothelioma lawsuits: Veterans can sue asbestos-related companies that are still in business by filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim. The majority of lawsuits end in a mesothelioma settlement, and clients may start getting paid in as few as 90 days.

Many U.S. Air Force veterans with mesothelioma can receive money from asbestos trust funds and mesothelioma lawsuits without ever even having to step foot in court.

$30 Billion

Estimated Amount in Asbestos Trust Funds

Filing a mesothelioma claim can help pay for medical bills, provide financial security for your family, and hold asbestos-related companies accountable.

It is important to note that taking legal action against these companies will not impact your ability to receive VA benefits. 

In the wake of a mesothelioma diagnosis, it is crucial for veterans to maximize their resources.

$400,000

Average Yearly Cost of Mesothelioma Treatment

Call (800) 647-3434 or fill out our contact form to see if you may be entitled to compensation.

VA Benefits for Mesothelioma

U.S. Air Force veterans diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma may also be entitled to benefits provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

VA benefits for U.S. Air Force veterans with mesothelioma include:

  • Disability compensation
  • Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)
  • VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC)
  • VA health care

Mesothelioma typically qualifies for 100% coverage on the VA’s disability scale.

$3,300+

VA Monthly Payment for Mesothelioma, Plus Free Health Care

To qualify for mesothelioma VA benefits, veterans will need to file a claim for disability benefits and provide documentation proving that their cancer developed due to asbestos exposure during their military service.

Filing a successful VA benefits claim can be a complex process, especially if a veteran’s U.S. Air Force asbestos exposure occurred long ago.

Our VA-accredited lawyers will work to ensure claims are filed quickly and properly, so veterans and their loved ones receive the financial support they deserve.

Billions Recovered Nationwide

At Sokolove Law, we’ve recovered over $5 Billion for thousands of mesothelioma patients and their families. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

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Asbestos Exposure in the U.S. Air Force

Asbestos products were used in many U.S. Air Force aircraft, hangars, cargo bays, barracks, and offices — some of which housed tens of thousands of airmen, their families, and civilians.

As a result, thousands of people are now being diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma.

Veterans account for over 30% of all mesothelioma cases today.

Historically, the U.S. Air Force also used asbestos in virtually all of its aircraft, putting service members at risk while in the skies.

Asbestos in U.S. Air Force Aircraft

U.S. Air Force planes often contained asbestos, which was damaged or worn-down over time.

Aircraft parts that used asbestos included, but were not limited to:

  • Brakes
  • Cargo bay insulation
  • Clutches
  • Cockpit heating systems
  • Electrical insulation
  • Electrical wiring
  • Engine heat shields
  • Engine insulation
  • Gaskets
  • Jet exhausts
  • Torque valves

Pilots and aircraft mechanics spent the most time working with these aircraft parts, thus placing them at a high risk of exposure to asbestos.

Asbestos in U.S. Air Force Bases

US Are Force HangarAsbestos was used in nearly every U.S. Air Force base for most of the 20th century. However, the asbestos fibers only posed a risk if they were disturbed.

Dangerous exposure could occur if building construction or repairs released microscopic asbestos fibers into the air. If this happened, those nearby could breathe in the fibers without notice and eventually get sick.

Asbestos products that may have exposed U.S. Air Force workers included, but are not limited to:

  • Adhesives, coatings, and paints
  • Floor and ceiling tiles
  • Drywall and roofing
  • Electrical wiring
  • Fireproofing materials
  • Furnaces
  • HVAC systems
  • Insulation for pipes
  • Soundproofing panels
  • Vehicle parts
  • Wall and ceiling insulation

9 U.S. Air Force Jobs Affected by Asbestos

Certain roles in the U.S. Air Force exposed some service members to asbestos more than others. A few of these jobs, listed below, saw servicemen come into daily contact with asbestos.

1. Aircraft Mechanic

Spending most of their time in shops and hangars, U.S. Air Force mechanics worked and performed dangerous activities. The replacement of asbestos-containing brake pads was a particularly common and dangerous task.

2. Aviation Machinist’s Mate

Aviation machinist’s mates normally performed routine engine maintenance and prepared aircraft for flight. However, they also had to test, repair, and overhaul engines and propellers.

This meant they worked on high-temperature machinery and used tools fitted with asbestos pads.

3. Boiler Tender

Boiler tenders regularly replaced asbestos-based boiler components like gaskets, heat jackets, and sealants. They also chipped away at damaged asbestos-containing materials, accidentally releasing the fibers into hot and cramped spaces in the process.

4. Gunner’s Mate

Also known as GMs, gunner’s mates maintained the armament systems and explosive devices on aircraft. They also operated machines like smoke screen generators.

For all duties, they were required to wear heat-protective gloves made with asbestos. These gloves prevented burns but released deadly fibers with wear and tear. Additional exposure came from parts of the aircraft damaged under fire.

If you choose to seek legal action for your mesothelioma diagnosis, you will not sue the government or your U.S. military branch. You will be taking action against asbestos companies and manufacturers that downplayed the dangers of asbestos.

5. HVAC Specialist

HVAC specialists installed, repaired, and replaced heating and cooling systems on a regular basis to keep them running efficiently.

This exposed them to a number of high-temperature materials like steam pipes, compressors, and cooling tower equipment — all fireproofed with asbestos. Their workplaces were confined and enclosed, increasing their risk of inhaling asbestos fibers.

6. Pilot

Pilots were at risk of asbestos exposure just from operating the equipment that mechanics repaired.

Sadly, they were not only at risk of exposure from planes or aircraft. Pilots often visited hangars and office spaces where they were exposed to materials like fireproofing and drywall.

7. Plumber or Pipefitter

Plumbers and pipefitters installed and repaired pipe systems for boiler controls, hydraulic systems, and pneumatic systems both on land and on different aircraft.

They were likely exposed to asbestos through many common activities, like cutting into old pipelines, stripping away cement pipe from corroded water lines, and insulating boiler fireboxes.

8. Vehicle Manager

The U.S. Air Force uses specialized vehicles for different maintenance needs on their bases. Vehicle managers were responsible for inspecting, troubleshooting, and repairing these vehicles.

This gave them routine, hands-on access to damaged — and thus high-risk — clutch facings, brake shoes, linings, and other materials built with asbestos for its anti-friction properties.

9. Welder

In the U.S. Air Force, welders are responsible for making and repairing the metal components critical to aircraft function.

In general, welders were known to face more hazards than most. They could have been exposed to asbestos not only in products like welding rods, but also from excessive smoke, metal splinters, and toxic dust.

Modern Day Asbestos Exposure in the U.S. Air Force

US Airforce AircraftThough newer aircraft and military bases are no longer built with asbestos, there remains an exposure risk even today.

Some U.S. Air Force buildings that were made with asbestos-containing construction materials are still currently in use. Some boilers and auto parts can also contain asbestos today despite government warnings.

Sokolove Law: Help for U.S. Air Force Veterans with Mesothelioma

If you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma, you can pursue justice and financial compensation through asbestos trust funds, VA benefits, and lawsuits.

Many manufacturers of asbestos-containing materials were well aware of the dangers their products posed. However, instead of making this knowledge public, they chose profits over protecting those who risked everything to serve their country.

As a nationwide mesothelioma law firm, Sokolove Law offers free legal case reviews and has over 40 years of experience defending veterans and their families.

Our experienced mesothelioma lawyers have helped recover over $5 Billion for our clients with mesothelioma. Our team has also helped thousands of veterans receive health care and financial support.

Contact us today by calling (800) 647-3434 or filling out our contact form for a free legal case review.

U.S. Air Force and Mesothelioma FAQs

Does the military still use asbestos?

The military stopped using asbestos in new products or construction in the 1970s. However, asbestos remained in existing buildings and equipment for many years.

Unfortunately, because mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases can take decades to develop, U.S. Air Force veterans that were exposed to asbestos at any point during their service are at risk of becoming ill.

If you were exposed to asbestos in the military, you may be eligible to file a claim and receive financial compensation. Contact our team today for a free case review.

What jobs are at risk for mesothelioma?

Some jobs in the U.S. Air Force had increased asbestos exposure due to the nature of their work.

U.S. Air Force jobs most at risk for developing mesothelioma include: 

  • Aircraft mechanic
  • Aviation machinist’s mate
  • Boiler tender
  • Gunner’s mate
  • HVAC specialist
  • Pilot
  • Plumber or pipefitter
  • Vehicle manager
  • Welder

Is mesothelioma a VA disability?

Yes, the VA considers mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases to be disabilities caused by military service if asbestos exposure occurred during your time in the U.S. Air Force.

Veterans with mesothelioma are eligible to receive over $3,300+ a month through a VA mesothelioma claim.

Why do veterans get mesothelioma?

Retired military personnel are 3 times more likely to develop mesothelioma than the general public. This is because the U.S. Air Force, in addition to all other U.S. military branches, relied heavily on products that contained asbestos throughout the 20th century.

Military asbestos exposure is the main reason why veterans may develop mesothelioma. Certain military occupations, like mechanics and pipefitters, are at an increased risk of developing mesothelioma due to how closely they likely worked with asbestos on military bases

How do you prove asbestos exposure in the military?

To be eligible for a VA mesothelioma claim, you must prove that the majority of your exposure to asbestos occurred while you were in the military:

  • First, a doctor must diagnose you with mesothelioma, which can only be caused by the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers.
  • Then, you will need to submit paperwork that documents your work history and asbestos exposure.

Our mesothelioma military lawyers can help you compose all of the information necessary for a successful VA claim.

In addition to this, Sokolove Law has a warehouse of evidence and a database of military asbestos exposure sites to help you determine where and when your asbestos exposure may have occurred.

What is the average mesothelioma settlement?

Mesothelioma case values can vary based on several factors, like what product you were exposed to and the severity of your illness.

However, on average, VA-accredited lawyers with Sokolove Law secure over $1 Million through mesothelioma settlements and, if the case goes to trial, over $5 Million through a mesothelioma verdict.

Will I be suing the U.S. government or the military?

No. A U.S. Air Force mesothelioma lawsuit brings a case against the company that produced asbestos-containing products, not the U.S. military or the government.

Author:Sokolove Law Team
Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: December 2, 2022

View 3 Sources
  1. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). “Asbestos Toxicity: What Is the Biological Fate of Asbestos?” Retrieved from https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/csem.asp?csem=29&po=9. Accessed on November 30, 2022.
  2. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). “Veterans Asbestos Exposure.” Retrieved from https://www.va.gov/disability/eligibility/hazardous-materials-exposure/asbestos/. Accessed on November 30, 2022.
  3. Department of Veterans Affairs. “Public Health: Asbestos.” Retrieved from https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/asbestos/index.asp. Accessed on November 30, 2022.