Fireproof Asbestos was used in manufacturing Guns and Ammo

When, in the immortal words of Johnny Cash, Mama said a pistol was the devil’s right hand, she probably had no idea how right she was. 

Gun factories, like most other industrial buildings, contain significant amounts of asbestos. If even one microscopic fiber makes it into a finished product, the possibility of a severe trauma injury might be the least of an owner’s worries.

Speaking of gun factories, the workers in these factories labored day after day with no protective equipment. Asbestos fibers are so small that they can absorb directly through the skin and migrate to internal organs, where these highly-toxic fibers could cause catastrophic illnesses.

Asbestos is highly heat-resistant and was used to fireproof machines and building materials.

On a related note, most Navy ships built before 1980 contained asbestos, especially in ammunition dumps and other fire-prone areas. 

Designers and builders were so desperate to reduce the risk of onboard fires that they took dangerous shortcuts, including the use of asbestos, to prevent them.

As outlined below, if they have any chance of surviving an asbestos-related illness, victims need substantial financial resources. Legal options are available for these victims, even if the asbestos exposure happened thirty, forty, or fifty years ago.

Asbestos and Firearms

We mentioned asbestos in gun and ammunition factories above. Under government rules, any asbestos level above one fiber per cubic centimeter of air (1f/cc) is unhealthy. As mentioned, these fibers are extremely small. 20,000 asbestos fibers could fit between Abraham Lincon’s nose and lip on a U.S. penny. 

Therefore, some dangerous exposure is almost inevitable. That’s especially true as factories age and their walls, floors, and ceilings develop hairline cracks or other flaws. A tiny fiber could easily leak out of a hairline crack.

Many manufactured products contained asbestos, including some ammunition.

Additionally, many manufactured products often contain asbestos. Shotgun shell wadding is a good example. To prevent intense heat from exploding the shell while it’s still in the gun, shotgun shell wadding uses a mixture of asbestos and wood fibers. As recently as 2011, government inspectors cited a New York gun factory for failing to warn its employees about high asbestos levels in the building.

Unfortunately for victims, firearms factories aren’t the only potential sources of asbestos exposure.

Many products, buildings and vehicles used by the military contained asbestos.

During World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, the U.S. Army issued cloth mitts to machine gunners. According to one field manual, “On prolonged firing, the barrel of the M-60 machine gun becomes quite hot and for continued use must be replaced by the usual spare. To enable rapid replacement without delay, heat-insulating protective hand coverings, such as asbestos mittens, now are employed for removal of a hot barrel.”

Other soldiers used such mitts as well, such as those who handled extremely hot mortars or other artillery pieces.

That all sounds good. Asbestos is one of the most effective insulation and heat-reducing minerals on earth. However, asbestos is also one of the most toxic minerals on earth. Commanders who authorized the purchase and distribution of asbestos mitts either didn’t know the risk, or more probably, they ignored the risk.

Many veterans, industrial workers and their families were exposed to asbestos and developed asbestos-related illnesses, including cancers like mesothelioma. Treatment of asbestos-related illnesses can be ongoing and very expensive, and in addition to workers’ compensation and other legal claims, many victims qualify for compensation from asbestos-bankruptcy trusts, usually without a lawsuit.

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Asbestos Illnesses

Mesothelioma and asbestosis are two of the most serious, and most common, asbestos exposure-related illnesses.

Overall, lung cancer is one of the most common and least aggressive forms of cancer. But lung cancer can be deadly, and is often a result of asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma, a specific type of this illness, is one of the rarest and most aggressive forms of cancer. 

What are the health dangers of asbestos fibers?

Asbestos fibers cause a tumor to form between the lungs and heart, in the delicate meso lining. The tumor’s location means traditional treatments, like radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery, usually don’t work well. So, especially if the victim has late-stage mesothelioma and/or isn’t a candidate for advanced or experimental therapy, doctors usually have few, or no, treatment options.

Asbestosis is not cancer, but its effects are similar. Asbestos fibers sear breathing passageways in the lungs, creating scar tissue. These natural breathing tubes are very narrow, in many cases no wider than the tip of a pencil. Therefore, any obstruction causes chest tightness and trouble breathing. These symptoms are so mild that many people don’t immediately seek treatment. By the time a doctor intervenes, a radical and risky lung transplant might be the only option.

Legally the manufacturer who provided the asbestos, the manufacturer, builder, or other company that used it, and/or the person or entity who owned the building could be responsible for damages. These damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as the staggering medical bills these victims incur, and noneconomic losses, such as the unimaginable pain and suffering they must endure.

AsbestosClaims.Law

AsbestosClaims.law is your comprehensive resource for all things asbestos. We hope this information is helpful.

If you have any additional questions or concerns related to asbestos, check out our website and YouTube page for videos, infographics and answers to your questions about asbestos, including health and safety, asbestos testing, removing asbestos from your home and building, and legal information about compensation for asbestos injuries.

And if you believe that you were exposed to asbestos, or have been diagnosed with an asbestos illness, you could be entitled to significant compensation—money you could use to cover the costs of asbestos removal services, pay for medical treatment, and preemptively protect your physical well-being. 

All without filing a lawsuit.

If you’d like help with filing a claim, please get in touch by email at [email protected], or call or text us at (206) 455-9190. We’ll listen to your story and explain your options. And we never charge for anything unless you receive money in your pocket.