Sources of Asbestos Exposure / Asbestos in the U.S. Navy / List of Ship Classes / Asbestos on Amphibious Warships
The need for amphibious landing craft became apparent in World War I. That was also about the time asbestos entered widespread use in naval ships.
Over the years, amphibious warship technology improved significantly. Speciality armed and armored landing craft appeared in World War II, including Landing Ship Tanks (LSTs), which their crews nicknamed “Large, Slow Targets.”
Function and form changed, but not the basic design. Until the late Cold War period, the Navy used lots of asbestos in amphibious landing craft. Unfortunately asbestos exposure can cause major health problems, including cancers like mesothelioma.
The Health Hazards of Asbestos Exposure on US Naval Amphibious Warships
Asbestos fibers are microscopic, but durable and sharp as tiny needles. Inhaling or swallowing a single fiber can cause serious illnesses, like asbestosis or the cancer known as mesothelioma, which is usually fatal.
As they pass through breathing passages in the lungs, asbestos fibers burn tissue and cause scarring. As this scar tissue builds up, it blocks these breathing passageways. Eventually, asbestosis is so advanced that victims have trouble breathing even at rest. This disease is difficult to treat and even harder to live with.
Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of lung/heart cancer with an extremely high fatality rate. When tumors form in the meso lining, which is between the heart and lungs, they’re very difficult to treat. In advanced cases, doctors can’t even treat mesothelioma symptoms.
Veterans of Amphibious Warships Who Are At RIsk for Asbestos Exposure and Health Problems
If you or a loved one served on a Cold War amphibious warship, signs of illness might just now be emerging. The latency period for these diseases can be at least forty years. These victim have several legal options:
- VA Disability: Victims with service-related disabilities, including the aforementioned asbestos exposure illnesses, could be entitled to monthly cash and free medical care at a VA facility. A lawyer helps these victims navigate the complex disability system.
- Defective Product: If you are up for more of a fight, a defective product claim in civil court is a good option. Usually, asbestos manufacturers are strictly liable for the injuries their defective products cause. Moreover, these victims are usually entitled to additional punitive damages, in addition to compensation for economic losses.
- Asbestos Trust Fund: If the manufacturer is no longer in business, an attorney can help a victim file a claim with an asbestos victim compensation fund. These VCFs contain billions of dollars.
Anyone who served on a landing craft is at risk. Highest-risk occupations include welders, pipefitters, engineers, and electricians.
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