Most commonly, the material was applied for fireproofing and insulating components within aircraft and bases. Everything from electrical firewalls to cooling system components to the brakes of aircraft could contain asbestos.
Asbestos-related conditions have a long latency period of 15 to 40 years or more. A latency period refers to the length of time between exposure and the development of symptoms. Because of this extended latency period, Air Force veterans asbestos exposure in the 1970s or earlier may just now develop related symptoms.
Air Force Veterans Asbestos Exposure & Mesothelioma Risk
Airmen and other Air Force personnel working near asbestos-containing materials could have easily been exposed to the fibers. Asbestos exposure risk levels peaked for personnel serving between the early 1940s and late 1970s, but personnel can find asbestos in equipment and facilities still in use today. A 2014 Air Force memo discusses the continually evolving policies for asbestos removal and abatement among USAAF property.
Consequences of Asbestos Exposure for Air Force Veterans
Exposure to asbestos fibers can lead to serious medical conditions, including lung cancer. Victims of exposure also commonly develop mesothelioma or cancer of the lining tissue surrounding certain vital organs.
Air Force Asbestos-Related Diseases
- Lung cancer
- Bronchial adenoma
- Laryngeal cancer
- Gastrointestinal cancer
- Pleural effusion
- Pleural plaques
- Cancer of the pharynx
- Urogenital cancers (except prostate)
Secondary Risks Families Face with U.S. Air Force Veterans Asbestos Exposure
U.S. Air Force personnel and contractors may have contaminated their uniforms and personal items during service. Even if these items were laundered, they can still potentially contain significant amounts of asbestos fibers. Bringing these items home could mean exposing their families through secondary asbestos exposure risks.
Secondary asbestos exposure carries with it the risk of the exact same conditions as primary exposure, including mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Air Force Occupations and Assignments with High Risk of Asbestos Exposure
- Air Force Civil Engineer
- Flight Engineer
- Aircraft Loadmaster
- Aircrew Flight Equipment
- Aircraft Maintenance
- Aircraft Electrical
- Environmental Engineers
- Navigations Officers
- Integrated Instrument
- Flight Control Systems
- Fighter Pilot
- Generalist Pilot
- Bomber Combat Systems Pilot
- Operations Commander
Air Force Base Locations Where Asbestos Exposure May Have Occurred
- Tinker Air Force
Air Force Aircraft Likely to Have Utilized Asbestos Materials
- B-36 Peacemaker
- B-47 Stratojet
- B-52 Stratofortress
- B-58 Hustler
- F-104 Starfighter
- KC-135 Stratotanker
- SR-71 Blackbird
- U-2 Spyplanes
Air Force Aircraft Materials Likely to Have Utilized Asbestos
- Heating and cooling systems
- Electrical wiring
- Engine firewalls
- General insulation
- Adhesives and epoxies used in repairs
Asbestos Claims and Compensation for Air Force Mesothelioma and Asbestos Cancer Victims
Air Force veterans asbestos exposure even without proper documentation may have a chance at claiming benefits through the VA system. However, claimants must present proof that their exposure could have only occurred during service.
In addition or in lieu of VA benefits, those who have developed conditions related to asbestos exposure may seek compensation from parties liable for their exposure. These parties can include manufacturers of asbestos products and equipment designers or builders.
If you or a close family member are an Air Force veteran and have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition, contact Mesowatch now. You will receive immediate assistance and free, confidential case evaluation. Your case will then be handled by a nationwide team of experienced asbestos attorneys. With their aid, you can quickly seek maximum compensation from all liable parties.