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All Navy Veterans Should Be Aware Of Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos exposure continues to be a pressing concern for Navy veterans who served on ships built from the 1930s to the early 1980s. Asbestos, once celebrated for its remarkable heat resistance and insulating properties, found its way into countless aspects of shipbuilding during the 20th century. Nobody took notice of the mineral’s potent threat when its microscopic fibers become airborne and are inhaled.

A  Grim Perspective of Permanent Health Damages Due to Asbestos Exposure

Over the years of duty, Navy veterans worked and lived close to asbestos-containing materials, often unaware of the lurking danger. Because these hazardous materials were virtually everywhere throughout the Navy vessels, all those onboard were at a high risk of asbestos exposure.

The repercussions of asbestos exposure are grave. The inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers cause debilitating illnesses decades after being lodged in the body’s tissues, especially the lungs. The fact that asbestos-related illnesses often take years to develop means that Navy veterans exposed to asbestos many years ago may only now be experiencing the devastating effects.

Handling Challenges Navy-Style: Acting Promptly

Learning about the connection between their illnesses and military service can be overwhelming for veterans. Apart from the physical challenges, there’s an emotional toll often underestimated and overlooked. This is why many find themselves feeling isolated and unsupported, an emotional burden that can exacerbate their health issues. 

Situations like these call for reflexes deeply ingrained during the time in the Navy and to take proactive steps to protect their health:

  •   Regular health check-ups: It is essential to undergo regular medical check-ups and be transparent with healthcare providers about military service and potential asbestos exposure. Early detection can significantly improve treatment outcomes.
  •  Know your rights: Veterans who suspect they may have been exposed to asbestos during their service should know their legal rights and options. Compensation programs and legal avenues are available to assist those affected by asbestos exposure.
  • Raise awareness: Veterans can be pivotal in educating their communities and fellow servicemen and women about asbestos exposure risks. They can help ensure that other veterans are informed about potential dangers by sharing their experiences and knowledge.

As we honor the courage and dedication of our Navy veterans, let us also acknowledge our responsibility to safeguard their health and well-being. Awareness of asbestos exposure is an integral part of this responsibility. By shedding light on this hidden danger, we can ensure that those who served at sea receive the care and support they rightly deserve.

Cristina Johnson
Cristina Johnson
Cristina Johnson is a Navy veteran advocate for Asbestos Ships Organization, a nonprofit whose primary mission is to raise awareness and educate veterans about the dangers of asbestos exposure on Navy ships and assist them in navigating the VA claims process. For more information, please visit our page:


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