Veterans are the group of Americans that are the most affected by mesothelioma because asbestos was used by the United States military in a myriad of ways.
The U.S. military started using asbestos containing materials in U.S warships during World War II. Since the 30s the arm forces made use of tons of asbestos materials in every type of construction, repair and upkeep. Also every form of locomotion uses the substance military trains, planes, tracked vehicles and cars had asbestos in them.
Both the Army and Air Force made use of asbestos to insulate electrical wiring and in parts like brake pads and clutch pads on mode of transportation like tanks, jeeps and airplanes. Base housing and most buildings on U.S. bases were constructed with construction materials that have asbestos in them. The materials were use in lot of products like insulation, plumbing equipment and floor coverings. In waterborne military branches like the Coast Guard, Navy and Marines asbestos was more popular than in any other branches. In just the Navy by its self, hundreds of things had asbestos in them from ships to shipyards. In the past Navy was the most important branch of military and that made use of asbestos materials mandatory on all ship construction since the late 1930s.
During the same time period the Surgeon General assigned to the Navy saw the harms of asbestos exposure and made note of it. when reporting on conditions that effect the health of sailors in the Brooklyn Navy Yard in Brooklyn, New York the then Surgeon General show that close proximity to asbestos caused asbestosis, a deadly lung illnesses the lead to cancerous tumors in lab rats. The military knew this but the importance of national security took precedence over future illnesses so the use of asbestos continued unabated showing the nation disregard for human well being and the importance of industrialization.
It was not until the mid-seventies that the armed forces started to cut back and lower the use asbestos containing materials, because of public presser and awareness of cancer cause material that were being covered in the press. But, use of the materials continued in the 1980s even though evidence was mounting about the effects of asbestos containing products and some are still used until now.
Most American thinks that asbestos is banned for use in the United States since the late 80s. A U.S. court struck down any laws that would ban the use of asbestos in 1991 and the material is still used to this day by the military but it is highly regulated.
It is sad that veterans are harmed by asbestos to the extent that they are. If you know somebody that served in the military and has been suffering from or has died from mesothelioma be aware that the manufacturers of these product knew of their dangers and made huge profits off the sales of such material to the U.S. military a great betrayal to our servicemen and women.