Due to its heat resistance and low cost, asbestos was involved in over 300 products in the U.S. Military and present in ships, tanks, barracks, aircraft and multiple other infrastructure projects, mainly in the form of insulation, thus, thousands of veterans are suffering nowadays from asbestosis – a chronic lung disease caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos.
Asbestosis - a Hallmark of Asbestos Exposure
When asbestos materials become damaged, the risk of asbestos fibers becoming airborne is considerable. Once lodged into the lungs, these fibers may cause inflammation, scarring and eventually genetic damage to the body’s cells. The major asbestos-related pulmonary diseases can be divided into malignant and benign inflammatory-fibrotic disorders, and they usually occur decades after exposure to asbestos fibers.
All branches of the service used asbestos in large-scale applications, and thus military veterans are at greater risk of developing pleural diseases such as asbestosis. Certain military occupations which include shipyards workers, aircraft mechanics, demolition workers, pipefitters, fire control technicians, and many others also carry an increased risk of exposure to the toxin.
Asbestosis Misdiagnosis and Veterans with History of Military Asbestos Exposure
Asbestosis, a chronic respiratory illness caused by prolonged asbestos exposure results in lung scarring and stiffness of the lungs, a condition very similar to pulmonary fibrosis and is often misdiagnosed as such. The early symptoms of asbestosis include chronic dry cough and difficulty in breathing during exercise and chest pain, which also develop in pulmonary fibrosis. Therefore, asbestosis, which is a more severe illness that may even develop into mesothelioma in the future, may get misdiagnosed as pulmonary fibrosis. This is very common and is more likely to happen when you ignore sharing your past history of asbestos exposure with your doctor.
Veterans with asbestosis are more likely to develop mesothelioma in the future. A pulmonary fibrosis misdiagnosis can also affect the financial compensation you are going to recover from the asbestos trust funds because the amount of money an asbestos victim is eligible depends mainly on the diagnosis. We strongly recommend seeking a second opinion from a specialist in asbestos related diseases as this can help you receive accurate diagnosis.
Receiving a wrong diagnosis and unsuitable treatment greatly affects your prognosis. We have a team of skilled specialists who are well equipped and experienced to provide you with an accurate diagnosis.
Service Members Who Develop Asbestosis Can Qualify for Benefits
If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness and you have a well-traced history of military asbestos exposure, a second opinion from a pulmonologist who specializes in asbestos-related diseases improves diagnostic accuracy and is therefore recommended.
Veterans from any branch of the military are urged to look at their eligibility for trust fund payments established to compensate those suffering from asbestos-related conditions. We can help you get access to compensation through asbestos trust funds and also we offer quality assistance to all veterans who want to file for veterans' benefits with the Department of Veterans Affairs.