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Coast Guard Veterans and Mesothelioma

During the 20th century, many current Coast Guard veterans were exposed to high levels of asbestos. This was because, at the time, the dangers of asbestos and the link between it and mesothelioma were not fully known.

Before the start of asbestos regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), asbestos could be found all over ships used by the U.S. Coast Guard, such as:

• Flooring
•Boiler rooms
•Mess halls
•Sleeping quarters
•Navigation rooms
•Wall insulation
•Engine rooms
•Weapons and ammunition storage rooms
•Products like cables, gaskets and valves
•Ship machinery like pumps, motors, condensers and compressors
•And more

Asbestos Exposure Among Coast Guard Veterans

Many Coast Guard personnel were exposed to asbestos on a daily basis. During the construction, demolition or renovation of ships or naval buildings, asbestos fibers were frequently released into the air where they were then inhaled by Navy members. The older ships became, the more brittle the asbestos became, making it easier to release into the air.

This frequent exposure to asbestos has led many former Coast Guard members to experience health problems and symptoms related to lung diseases like mesothelioma. In fact, military veterans account for 30 percent of all mesothelioma patients.

There is a long latency period with this disease and typically mesothelioma symptoms don’t appear for years after exposure. Those who were exposed to asbestos as long as 50 years ago are now being diagnosed with the deadly cancer.

Resources for Coast Guard Veterans with Mesothelioma

Being diagnosed with mesothelioma or having mesothelioma symptoms can be intimidating, but with the growing number of research and insight related to mesothelioma, there is hope. If you are a Coast Guard veteran and were exposed to harmful levels of asbestos even as far back as 40 to 50 years ago, your risk of mesothelioma is increased. Learn more about mesothelioma and treatment options today.