Why Navy veterans have a higher risk of mesothelioma

Jul 16, 2020 | Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that affects a lot of veterans. When it comes to mesothelioma cases, over 30% of all patients are veterans. For sailors in the military, the risk is higher than other service members. Most veteran patients were sailors in the Coast Guard or Navy explains the Mesothelioma Veterans Center.

Asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma. Asbestos is a toxic mineral that is resistant to heat and chemicals. In the past, many ships and buildings used asbestos for insulation and fireproofing material.

Where was asbestos used?

Navy ships, according to the Mesothelioma Center, used asbestos in almost every component of the ship. Experts have a clear idea of where manufacturers used asbestos. There are records of asbestos use in ship database records, repair logs, war diaries, memos and historical documents.

There are more than 300 materials that contain asbestos on naval ships. Until the 1970s, most people were unaware of the health concerns associated with asbestos. Mess halls, navigation rooms, boiler rooms and other common areas are places where manufacturers used asbestos. Due to this, personnel who worked as machinist’s mates, pipefitters, fire control technicians and boiler technicians are more likely to suffer from mesothelioma.

What ships had asbestos?

Navy and Coast Guard veterans have the highest risk for mesothelioma. Ship manufacturers used asbestos in all naval ships before 1980. All Navy and Coast Guard ships in operation between World War II and the late 1970s is likely to have asbestos. This includes submarines, aircraft carriers, battleships, patrol boats, escort carriers and virtually all ships associated with the military.