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The dangers of asbestos for Navy members (and other ship workers)

As Veterans Day has come and gone, many people in North Carolina -- and all around the country -- honored and thanked the hundreds of thousands of people who have served in the military. Many of these veterans, both young and old, served in the Navy and, as a result, they may spend a lot of time on ships of all sizes and classifications.

Herein lies a potential problem for many people who serve -- or have served -- our country: naval ships can contain asbestos, and prolonged exposure to asbestos (a practical guarantee for Navy members who see active duty) can cause very serious medical complications.

For example, a British man who was in the Royal Navy recently died of medical complications related to asbestos exposure. He served in the Navy for 22 years and worked on many ships during his time in the Royal Navy. A coroner who reviewed the man found "pleural plaques," which are associated with above average asbestos exposure. The man found out about his asbestos-related nine years ago, but he rarely talked about it, as he tried to keep the matter private (and understandably so).

Unfortunately, he likely lived in pain as his medical condition worsened. This is the tragedy of people who are exposed to asbestos, or who deal with mesothelioma: not only are they in a bleak medical situation, but their last months and years are often lived in misery. The circumstances that created this devastating medical condition can be cited in a civil lawsuit. The victim and his or her loved ones can earn a small sense of justice, while also earning the compensation they deserve for the pain and suffering they have lived through.

Source: Derby Telegraph, "Asbestos on Royal Navy ships killed Derby sailor," Ella Rhodes, Nov. 1, 2013

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