Asbestos is one of the most dangerous chemicals in the world. It was widely used in the 20th century in industries to manufacture all kinds of goods, which resulted in large-scale exposure throughout the United States. Luckily, its dangerous effects were discovered, and it was banned. However, there are still many ways you could get exposed to asbestos, and this exposure could result in life-threatening illnesses. If you’re a vet who’s already been exposed, you should know that not all is lost, and there are many things that you can do to help yourself.
Seek a Medical Evaluation
The first step you should take if you’re concerned that you’ve been exposed to asbestos is to get a full medical evaluation. Asbestos has a habit of getting into people’s lungs even if they’re not close by, so it’s a good idea to get an evaluation anyway, even if you weren’t directly exposed. Your doctor will use a combination of imaging techniques, lab tests, and histology to determine if you’ve been exposed to asbestos and whether you’ve contracted a disease because of it. Catching asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma early can significantly improve your chances of survival, and it isn’t hard to accomplish.
Document Your Exposure
Once you’ve gotten your medical checkup and you have a better idea of your overall physical health, the next step you should take is to document your exposure meticulously. This includes which ships you were transferred to and any history of deployment. Include the names of your senior officers, dates, and any of your colleagues exposed to asbestos and contracted a disease. This documentation will help provide a timeline to your hospital, your insurance company, and your lawyers. Your doctor will be able to determine when you were exposed, your insurance company will be more likely to compensate you, and your lawyers will have a stronger base to tackle your case.
Contracting mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease can be life-threatening or, at the very least, can impact your quality of life massively. If you’ve been exposed to asbestos on navy ships, you’re likely entitled to restitution if you contact attorneys and make a strong case. There are countless attorneys out there who specialize in these cases since they’re unfortunately quite common, and they can help you out while still giving you veteran discounts. You’ll be suing the manufacturer and provider of the ships since it is their responsibility to perform asbestos abatement procedures if they’ve seen asbestos on the ship.
Consider the Many VA Benefits You’re Entitled to
The fight against asbestos exposure can be stressful and taxing, and you could soon find much of your money being spent on doctor’s and lawyer’s fees. Luckily, there are a lot of resources out there that could support you, especially since you’re a vet. The biggest organization is the VA, or the Department of Veteran Affairs, which has special policies in place for providing aid to vets suffering from asbestos exposure. You’ll get financial compensation, as well as subsidized health or legal fees, which will help you get justice easier.
Focus on Lung Health
If you’ve been diagnosed with a disease or have confirmed that you’ve been exposed to asbestos, it’s vital to take steps to ensure your lungs are as healthy as possible. Diseases like mesothelioma mainly affect the lungs, and how you treat your lungs will determine your chances of beating any diseases. Avoid smoking and junk food, especially those containing high cholesterol. Ensure you take all your medicines on time, and consider using an inhaler, too. In addition, you should avoid highly polluted areas, such as those near lots of cars that are removing gases from their exhaust pipe or factories.
If you’re a Navy vet, you should feel secure in knowing that your country will do everything it can to help you. While you may not have expected to face asbestos exposure on a ship, it’s been known to happen, especially since many older ship parts were made using asbestos. Getting exposed to it while on the job will entitle you to compensation as well as a lot of help from government resources. If you’re struggling to get that help, however, use the information in this article, and you’ll be back on track.