There are over 22 million living veterans in the United States, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs. A large percentage of these veterans were exposed to asbestos and asbestos containing products during their service in the United States Military.
Asbestos use was widespread in the US Military due to the fact that it is virtually indestructible and was even mandated up until the 1970’s when the dangers associated with asbestos became known to the public. Asbestos was used in a variety of products such as gaskets, brakes, cements, adhesives, valves, floor coverings, and pipe insulation.
While all military personnel have exposure to asbestos those who served in the US Navy or worked in Naval Shipyards were much more prone to asbestos exposure, due to the large amount of asbestos products used in the manufacturing of naval ships.
Not only were servicemen exposed to the dangers of asbestos, but also civilian defense employees, military contractors, and merchant marines.