United States Military veterans are some of those most at risk for being diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. In fact, one out of three mesothelioma victims is a military veteran. This is because asbestos was used in every branch of the military from 1920 to the late 1970s.
Diseases like mesothelioma are caused by exposure to asbestos. Have you ever wondered where exactly exposure took place? Let's find out:
Those in the U.S. Army were often exposed to asbestos while on base, as well as within Army vehicles. Army bases contained asbestos flooring, ceiling tiles, insulation, and more. Army vehicles contained asbestos in the brakes, gaskets, and insulation, putting soldiers and Army mechanics at risk for coming into contact with the hazardous substance.
It has been reported that, between 1930 and 1970, nearly every ship commissioned by the U.S. Navy had several tons of asbestos worked into them. Asbestos insulation was used in the engine room, along piping, and in the walls and doors of the ships, among other places. While at sea, Navy personnel were constantly living, working, and sleeping around asbestos.
Like Army vehicles and Navy ships, asbestos was also worked into the aircraft used within the U.S. Air Force. Mechanics working on aircraft are some of those most at risk for having come into contact with asbestos during their time of service. For example, the Air Force's F-4E Phantom jet contained GE's J79 engines, which contained 147 asbestos-containing gaskets and clamps.
Although asbestos use has been phased out of the United States military, asbestos can still be found on military bases and within vehicles, aircraft, and ships operated by military personnel.