Asbestos Use in the United States Military

It might come as a surprise to learn that a loved one was exposed to asbestos during their time of service in one of the United States Military branches. For many veterans, this exposure remains unknown until they are diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, like mesothelioma.

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Let’ take a look at how asbestos was used in the Air Force, Army, and Navy before it was finally declared a hazard to human health in the late 1970s:

Air Force

Those who have served in the U.S. Air Force are at risk for exposure to asbestos whether they were a pilot or mechanic. Since aircraft utilized asbestos for both insulation and fire resistance, those that flew and worked on jets and planes are at risk for exposure. Pilots often spent extended periods of time inside the small spaces of aircraft, where asbestos fibers were breathed in or ingested. Mechanics worked directly with asbestos-containing materials as they built, repaired, and decommissioned aircraft.


Army base housing was constructed with asbestos-containing materials of many different kinds. According to, asbestos flooring, floor tiles, ceiling tiles, wall insulation, and asbestos cement was used throughout structures on Army bases. Once asbestos was declared a hazard to human health, enlisted men were often in charge of removing asbestos-containing materials without the proper training.


Those who have served in the Navy are some of those most at risk for developing asbestos-related diseases due to exposure during their time of service. Navy personnel lived, slept, ate, and breathed around asbestos, every day. Shipyard workers are also at risk, as they constructed, repaired, and decommissioned Navy vessels with a plethora of asbestos products. Asbestos insulation was used for boilers, pipes, turbines, pumps, and other heat-sensitive areas in the engine rooms, boiler rooms, weapons and ammunition storage, and even the sleeping quarters of seamen and officers.

Contact Us Today

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you will want to figure out a treatment plan sooner than later. Once a disease like mesothelioma is diagnosed, symptoms are likely to increase. A medical professional will help determine your medical options, while a mesothelioma lawyer can determine if you are eligible for a lawsuit or claim.

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