Among the ranks of Americans diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, there is one group that represents the lion’s share of victims. That group is America’s veterans, which represent roughly one third of all mesothelioma patients, a statistic that traces back to decisions made long before it was known that asbestos is a carcinogen. From the years prior to World War II through the time that the Environmental Protection Agency revealed the dangers of asbestos, the military specifically ordered that the material be incorporated into as many of the materials that it ordered as possible, thinking that its resistance to heat, fire, electrical and chemical damage made it a superior protective agent for the men and women who were working in service to the country. The damage that asbestos causes has been understood for decades, but the clean-up efforts still continue today.
Writing of one such effort, James C. Hamilton III, director of public works at USAG Yongsan in South Korea recently described the efforts to prevent future cases of mesothelioma that are ongoing at that faraway base.He indicates that the use of asbestos was so ubiquitous at the time that the base was first built that it is still being found whenever a new maintenance, renovation or demolition project arises at Yongsan. The material has been found in flooring, roofing, pipe insulation and more, and when it is identified a local force of seven individuals who are South Korean nationals is immediately called in. Though the work had previously been done by a local contractor at significant cost, the public works asbestos removal team now works as an in-house unit whose members have full time jobs, but who volunteer their extra time to quickly, safely and effectively provide asbestos abatement services that protect those who are serving at the base today. The group is made of up a variety of professionals who have used their occupational training in carpentry, plumbing, electrical contracting, engineering and environmental sciences to provide coordinated asbestos removal services that is safe and effective, ensuring that those who serve are in an environment that is free of carcinogenic microscopic asbestos particles.
If you are a veteran who was exposed to asbestos during your service and who has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, we can help you access the resources to which you are entitled. Call us today at 1-800-726-7245.