Like many North Carolina residents, you or one of your family members may have served in the U.S. Navy or other branches of the armed forces. Depending on what your duties were, you may have been exposed to asbestos on the job. Asbestos exposure can result in mesothelioma, which is a terminal cancer most often affecting the lungs, as well as other incurable diseases.
Working in a navy shipyard would have placed you at high risk for asbestos exposure. Knowing what other types of jobs and products increase your risk for asbestos poisoning can help you recognize symptoms of illness if they arise, and from there, you can determine a best course of action regarding possible treatment plans.
Red flag issues that may prompt you to seek testing
The thing about asbestos poisoning is that you may not even realize you’ve been exposed until symptoms of mesothelioma or other terminal illness develop years later. The following list shows products and areas of military work that would increase your risk for asbestos-related diseases:
- Motor vehicle mechanics
You may have worked in several of these areas or used multiple products that are known to increase the risk of asbestos exposure. If you’ve been out of the military for 10, 20 or more years, it doesn’t necessarily mean you did not suffer asbestos injuries during your time of service.
Did you ever serve overseas?
Especially if you were deployed to Iraq or other arenas in the Middle East, you may have been exposed to asbestos without knowing it. Since returning to civilian life, if physical symptoms develop such as lingering cough, chest discomfort, pain in your abdomen, cardiac issues, lack of appetite or weight loss, it is always best to seek a medical examination.
It’s also a good idea to let your doctor know that you are a veteran and may have been exposed to asbestos during your years of service in the navy or other armed forces. A doctor with experience in treating mesothelioma or other asbestos-related disease would know what tests to run to determine whether your symptoms are related to possible asbestos poisoning.
Dealing with terminal illness
It is devastating to receive a terminal illness diagnosis. All treatments available for mesothelioma or other asbestos illnesses are palliative, meaning that they are intended to alleviate your discomfort but are not able to cure disease.
Many service members and others who have contracted illnesses from asbestos exposure have pursued litigation when evidence has shown that another party’s or group’s negligence was a causal factor toward the injuries that occurred.