Wright Patterson Air Force Base, in Dayton, Ohio, used large amounts of asbestos in aircraft, vehicles and on-site buildings. Consequently, veterans and former civilian employees could risk developing serious diseases like lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Asbestos was a valuable tool for the military because of its heat resistance and fire-proofing capabilities, and all branches of the military used the material up until the 1970s. However, asbestos fibers, when loose and inhaled, put veterans at risk.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), several million Americans who served in the military were exposed to asbestos during their service. Now, veterans account for almost a third of all mesothelioma cases in the U.S.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Ohio personal injury lawyer representing veterans nationwide in a wide variety of toxic tort and mesothelioma claims.
There are over 20 million veterans in the U.S., and most of them were exposed to asbestos at some point during their military service. A large portion of those heavily exposed will eventually be diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease.
According to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, Ohio ranks fifth in the nation in the mortality rate for mesothelioma.
The Air Force Command acknowledged an asbestos hazard in August 1986 when they adopted the Asbestos GRADE system to prioritize asbestos abatement in bases and buildings.
U.S. Air Force veterans were often exposed to asbestos in Wright Patterson buildings and aircraft, putting them at risk for developing mesothelioma and other deadly diseases. Welders, electricians and mechanics were among the occupations with the highest risk of exposure.
Asbestos materials were commonly used to build aircraft, and mechanics were exposed to asbestos concealed in body fillers, brake pads, clutches, bearings, seals and gaskets. Vehicle and aircraft mechanics could have been exposed to asbestos while performing routine maintenance.
Aircraft components like engines, cockpit heating systems, wiring, turbines, heat shields and insulation in cargo bays all contained asbestos. Aircraft mechanics were also exposed to asbestos while working on rotors, fuel and hydraulic systems.
Servicemen were often exposed to asbestos fibers while performing normal work duties. In turn, breathing the dust increased the risk of serious lung diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma later in life.
According to the VA, some of the highest exposure risk jobs included:
A study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) shows that efforts to minimize occupational exposure to asbestos fibers have not prevented asbestos related diseases developing in the younger generation.
Although the use of asbestos in new construction and use of asbestos-containing products was stopped many years ago, the toxic fibers remain decades later. Symptoms of asbestos-related disease often do not appear until decades after exposure, and many veterans may still develop a serious condition like mesothelioma.
Cases may continue to surface for years to come. Construction, demolition and asbestos abatement are regularly occurring at older military posts like Wright Patterson. As late as 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report regarding the presence of asbestos in former Air Force facilities. The report found asbestos in floor tile and vinyl flooring, pipe insulation, asbestos cement, ceiling tiles, roofing and drywall.
Even if the federal government refuses to be held responsible for asbestos-related damage, veterans who served at Wright Patterson can still seek compensation from the manufacturers of the products that were supplied to the military. The high medical costs of asbestos-related cancers have led many veterans and their families to file claims against asbestos manufacturers. Experienced attorneys in Ohio can help manage these claims and secure compensation through lawsuits, settlements and bankruptcy trusts.
The courts have largely agreed that the government and asbestos manufacturers have a responsibility to provide America’s military with safe products and working environments. When they fail to protect our servicemen, they should compensate veterans and families for the damage they have caused. Please do not hesitate to seek medical and legal assistance.
If you or a loved one suffered an asbestos-related illness after working at Wright Patterson or another military installation, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.
ABOUT THE LYON FIRM
Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.
The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.
NO COST UNLESS WE WIN
The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.
The natural breakdown of asbestos products and subsequent sawing or cutting of the asbestos creates dust and fibers that are inhaled and can lead to mesothelioma and other severe forms of lung cancer. Unlike some other ingested toxins which may be flushed from the body over time, asbestos fibers usually remain embedded in the lungs.
When asbestos fibers are released into the air, they can be trapped in the lungs and cause scarring and inflammation.
Secondary exposure is also possible through fibers traveling on a family members clothing. Due to health concerns, all new uses of asbestos were banned in July 1989.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) all consider asbestos a known carcinogen.
Each year hundreds of men and women are diagnosed with lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis and mesothelioma—asbestos-related illnesses potentially due to past asbestos exposure. The vast majority of those who develop lung cancer and mesothelioma worked in an environment where asbestos was present. Workplaces may have been filled with toxic materials, and employers may have failed to warn of the serious health risks of the job. Examples of Asbestos related illness include:
Although adenocarcinoma lung cancer is associated with smoking, studies indicate exposure to asbestos may cause this form of deadly cancer. Inhaling asbestos fibers at the workplace over months or years put individuals at high risk for developing adenocarcinoma lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis. In terms of duration or dose, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has concluded that there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos.
Mesothelioma is a serious illness that has been linked to asbestos exposure in medical literature with a latency period of 20-50 years after being first exposed to asbestos. A diagnosis of mesothelioma and lung cancer is overwhelming news for the individual and their family.
Most deaths from malignant mesothelioma in the United States are the result of exposures to asbestos decades prior. However, the continuing occurrence of mesothelioma deaths among persons under the age of 55 suggests ongoing occupational and environmental exposures to asbestos fibers, despite years of action by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) aimed at limiting asbestos exposure for much of the last 40 years.
To consider ways to assist in paying for medical expenses, you may talk to Attorney Joe Lyon for information on asbestos exposure, treatment and compensation. Filing an asbestos exposure lawsuit helps to raise the awareness of job safety, while also securing the financial compensation available to workers through multiple sources.
Asbestos-related cancer victims may not show signs of illness for decades after exposure. When symptoms do appear, cancer may already be in a late stage. Seek medical assistance if you develop the following symptoms:
Most deaths from malignant mesothelioma in the United States are the result of exposures to asbestos decades prior. However, the continuing occurrence of mesothelioma and lung cancer deaths among persons under the age of 55 suggests ongoing occupational and environmental exposures to asbestos fibers.
Asbestos can be found in factories, warehouses, mills, homes built before 1980, construction sites, and in many military instillations. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), there are 75 different jobs that could have exposed workers to asbestos, with those jobs primarily involving construction and manufacturing. Currently, thousands of American workers are still affected by asbestos each year.
Our Firm can help you identify the exposure sources and then initiate the proper claims so that will provide the security you and your family require.
When asbestos breaks down over time or with use, the fibers of the material can become airborne, presenting a risk of inhaling or ingesting the toxin. Asbestos is a cancer-causing agent, and those heavily exposed can develop scarring in the lungs and later develop lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Asbestos was widely used in piping, insulation, electrical components, machine parts, packaging, flooring, ceiling tiles, roofing, and in many building materials.
If you were exposed to asbestos at your workplace, and have developed cancer or a related illness, you are likely to qualify for compensation.
Asbestos was cheap, durable, fire-resistant and light, and was thought to be the perfect insulating material before research showed it was extremely hazardous to the health.
The following tasks are associated with possible high asbestos exposure:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will no longer evaluate asbestos in homes and businesses as a serious danger or health risk, as the EPA announced in recent reports.
The EPA asbestos decisions, under Scott Pruitt, decided it is unnecessary to evaluate the health risks of the toxic substance despite the continuing workplace and home hazards that still lead to mesothelioma deaths for up to 3,000 Americans each year.
The agency will still evaluate and require approval for any new use of asbestos, but let the already-present toxin remains in many public building, businesses, schools, houses and hospitals. Fifty-five countries have a total ban on the use of asbestos, including nations like the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Japan.
The new EPA asbestos stance has gone mostly undeterred because the current administration sees eye-to-eye on safety deregulation and pro-corporate interests. The health and safety of American workers and consumers, however, already in danger, could lose its footing as the EPA drifts toward toxic tolerance.
According to the EPA Website, exposure to asbestos increases the risk of developing lung diseases like mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. That risk is made worse by certain factors, such as smoking and long-term exposure in workplaces known to be laden with the toxin.
There is no safe amount of asbestos exposure, and the greater the exposure to asbestos, the greater the chance of developing severe health problems. Lung disease symptoms may lay dormant after exposure, and can take years to develop.
Asbestos-related health conditions can be difficult to identify and confused with other respiratory health issues. Healthcare professionals help identify the possibility of asbestos exposure by looking at the person’s medical, work, and environmental history. Known major health effects have been linked to asbestos exposure including lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, adenocarcinoma and mesothelioma.
On one hand the EPA regards asbestos as a cancer-causing agent, which fills older buildings and presents health hazards to various Ohio workers and consumers, and yet the agency has not taken measures to eradicate the toxin as safety advocates say they could.
The EPA has not properly evaluated the dangerous legacy of existing and so levels of contamination are unknown in Ohio. We do know asbestos exists in many areas in homes, schools, hospitals, factories, auto products, and workplaces but there is little help in evaluating an individual’s Ohio asbestos exposure risks.
Despite a significant reduction in the use of asbestos in past decades, annual deaths continue because asbestos-related diseases lay dormant.