Mesothelioma & Veterans
Mesothelioma is a rare lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos appeared to be the perfect insulation for heat-producing mechanisms in
warships, due to its ability to resist corrosion and extreme heat. Throughout
the 20th Century, particularly during World War II and the early Cold War years,
massive amounts of asbestos were used in shipyards for the building of new
ships. Asbestos use continued to expand as asbestos manufacturing companies
assisted in writing specifications for products on U.S. Navy ships. During this
time, hundreds of thousands of sailors and shipyard workers were being exposed
to the harmful effects of asbestos by breathing the tiny fibers caused by the
cutting and handling of this harmful insulation.
Based on the following fatality statistics, working in an American shipyard
during World War II was nearly as dangerous as fighting in the war. 16.1 million
Americans were called to fight for their country during World War II. The rate
of death during combat was approximately 18 per 1000. In contrast, 4.3 million
Americans worked in shipyards throughout the time of the war. For every 1000
shipyard employees, approximately 14 died from mesotheliomia. In addition, an
unknown number died from asbestosis or complications from it. Now, more than 40
years after this exposure, hundreds of people continue get sick each year, due
to the long dormancy periods of these illnesses. This scourge is not expected to
taper off for another ten years or so. Many of these shipbuilders and navy
veterans are being diagnosed with deadly mesothelioma, decades after they have
served their country. Not knowing that their exposure to asbestos might cut
their lives short, they have raised families and built careers, and now many of
them will be cheated from the pleasure of their golden years.
Because of the nature of this disease, it can remain undetected for over a
decade before the patient shows any signs of illness. In fact, many veterans are
now facing the deadly consequences of asbestos, due to exposure during their
time in the military.
Mesothelioma Web is one of the most established and comprehensive sites on
mesothelioma. They provide facts about palliative care, nutrition, and
chemotherapy, as well as information on clinical trials. They also have pages specifically for veterans.
To learn more visit