– Hi, today we’re gonna be talking about asbestos exposure in the military service, provisions it could have caused who could have been disclosed, different interests you can get. So we hope that you’ll assemble us in order to discuss this information.( upbeat music) Hi, and welcome back to Hill& Ponton VA Disability Blog.( piano music) My name is Natalia Jofre, I’m the company COO. – And I’m Attorney Melanie Williams. – And today Melanie andI are gonna be talking about a somewhat hot topic, which is asbestos exposurein the military service. So, Melanie, I knowthat we hear about this, we check commercials about it. But what we’re gonna do todayis a little bit different because we’re gonnatalk about how ex-servicemen are specific, or couldhave been specifically exposed to asbestos. But I wanna go back to a littlebit more basic information and then we’ll grow from there. Can you tell everybody, what is asbestos? Is it a natural substance or what is it? – Yes, so it is a naturallyoccurring material.It’s is located within rocks and soils. Not to get too technological but it’s composed ofthin needle-like fibers that are actually soft and resilient. The important thing that wewould need to know about it is that it’s heat resistant, so it’s used as a shell resistant, as insulating material, and it can be used tomake information stronger like plaster and plastic. So, that’s why it’s used sowidely in so many manufactures, because it has, you are familiar with, great benefits to different textiles. The trouble with it is thatwhen it’s inhaled or assimilated, it becomes permanentlytrapped in their own bodies, which can then cause inflammation, scarring, genetic impairment, which could then leadto cancers and cancers. Mostly what you need to know, it’s been banned inmore than 60 countries, but it hasn’t been are prohibited in the US.So, that kind of shows how bad it can be.- Wow – Yeah. – That’s kind of sad and cruel. So it can, it is purposely applied. I thought that it was just, you know, inherently, you know, disastrous thatsometimes it’s present in certain cloths. Like, I know we hear about talc cases and it’s because like you said, you are familiar with, it comes from boulders and minerals and so, inherently, itwas sometimes in the talc or in the materials used for talc, but sometimes it is purposely used in order, like in plaster? – Yeah, it is intentionally used to support its profitable points, like the fact that it’s heat resistant and it’s used as insulationand things like that.I fantasize the negative health effects about it weren’t realized until later, and we’ll talk about thatin a little bit as to why. – Okay. So speaking of, you are familiar with, when youcould have been uncovered, who may have been exposedto this in the military? – So if you served in themilitary from the 1930 s to the 1970 s, in allbranches, you are at high risk because the military used it extensively. In the army and the air force, both used asbestos and electrical cable, insularity vehicles. The Navy and the Marinesused it in sends, shipyards, aircrafts, other armored vehicles. And to those used sends, theyalso had inadequate breathing, which induces somethinglike asbestos a lot worse.If you were a vehicle mechanic, so while acting routinemaintenance work on vehicles, there is indeed asbestoses in brakepads, clutches, tolerates, gaskets, aircraft mechanics, because it was also used inthe rudders, oil arrangements, hydraulic organizations, veterans who work with boiler systems, piping or cooling systems. According to the VA, this is the list of, “theyre saying” any ex-serviceman “whos working” in the followingcould have been uncovered. Ship yards, structure, carpentry, defeat, mining and milling, separation, pipes, roofing, flooring, plaster membranes, and friction products.So it’s a lot.- Oh my goodness! – Not merely that, you could have also been exposed because it could have been hiddenin your sleeping quarters or within vehicles, withinweapons, within buildings. And, it’s not only veteransfrom the 1930 s to 1970 s. Also, they have found that in Iraq and other countries in the Middle eastern countries, they imported large amounts of asbestos in recent years for construction. So, if a building was shattered, desert winds could havespread the asbestos for miles, uncovering all the veteransthat served in Iraq, – You’re going down this list, which is almost incomprehensible to me. And, I’m sitting here theory, well, you’re prettymuch spread,( reviles) I symbolize, that’s a lot of pitches of showing if you were in the service- Yes. during those times. – Yes.- There were a lot of opportunities for you to be uncovered, – Right. – You know, it’s so interesting, you give this informationand I don’t think you realize like how, instructive itis, how mind-boggling it is.Like, I ever concluded asbestos was something thatsometimes unfortunately in the seventies was in the insulation. And so you breathed itthrough these vent-holes, you are familiar with, we we’ve heard of sick buildings and that, that was pretty much, you know it was just a happenstance and an lamentable coincidence, but from what you’re sayingand the way it was used, I mean that it was actually even utilized. – Yes – This is crazy, and wewere just talking earlier about Vietnam ex-servicemen. And so this is still a large portion of our population thatcould have been exposed to asbestos and have maladies as a resultof that show right now. Like this is not, – Right. – I think that lots of era people reflect, Oh, this was a long time ago, so this isn’t affecting me now. This item, this doesn’t characterize but, exactly the list that you returned, shipyards, interpretation, carpentry, the mining, the milling, and then the fact that you said that it could have been living quarters. Goodness compassionate. And then you were sayingthat even in recent fights with Iraq, did you sayIraq and Afghanistan were importing it? – Iraq precisely, but other countries in the middle East as well.So it’s likely. – Okay. Okay. So utter us an idea what medical conditions arelinked to asbestos exposure. Because you may have acondition and is just like, I had no idea this could havebeen because of asbestos. So, – Right. – Can you utter us an idea of what some of those conditions could be? – Yes, so there are cancerous and there are alsonon-cancerous status. They’re going to revolvemostly in various regions of the lungs. The most popular is what’scalled mesothelioma. It’s a cancer thatoccurs in the thin seam of material that clothes themajority of the internal organ. It’s almost exclusivelycaused by asbestos. So that’s why that’s theone that we discover the most.- Yes. – There’s also lungcancer, ovarian cancer, laryngeal cancer, and then some of the non-cancerousconditions, asbestosis, which is scarring of the lung material that causes breathing difficulties. COPD, chronic obstructivepulmonary sicknes. There’s also pleural medals and effusions and disperse pleural thickening. Mostly it’s scarringin the internal surface of the rib cage and theareas encircling the lungs. So it can cause breathing problems. So you’ll wanna look for manifestations like ache, cough, breathlessness, shortness of breath, aching around the rib area. Just, different lung-related milieu. – I know that you mentioned asbestosis, and I know from myexperience with these cases because there’s also masstorts claims by the way, associated with these claims and just so that peopleknow you can have both, you can pursue a claimfor veteran benefits or disability benefits as a result of, illness suffer from asbestos exposure.And you could also have, you know, a mass torts claim, because of this revelation as well. So they’re not like mutually exclusive. – Right – But you mentioned asbestosis. So, merely to touch on that really quickly, can you qualify for interests for asbestosis as wellas, asbestos showing or, and for that situation? – Yeah, so asbestos show is not a condition in and of itself. So that’s not something that you claim. You claim a condition or an illness or a disease that you have. So asbestosis is the condition, that is the diagnosis thatyou would be claiming for. And again, whether it’s, you know mesotheliomaor any other condition, you’re claim that thecondition that you have, and then the cause of itis the asbestos exposure.- Okay. Is it difficult to prove theexposure to the asbestos? – Just like anything else with the VA you’ll wanna make sure thatyou have, sufficient evidence. So you’ll either lack your service records or you’ll wanna add the following statement or you’re gonna specify your MLS, what your military tariffs were, describe your duties in detail. And you’ll wanna talkabout how “youre gonna” disclosed, how often and for how long. And then that’s gonna help establish, because we know all these different areas where exposure was used, that’s gonna help show thatyou were exposed to asbestos – Talking about revelation, what if, what, and we, I think we have a lot of veterans that could fell within this. What if you were exposed toseveral different things? I make, what if you wereexposed to asbestos, but you were also exposed to Agent Orange, but you were also exposedto other herbicides, you know, how do they figure that out? Or how do they know which one, which umbrella to put you under, I guess? – Right.So, – Or does it matter? – So each, show or poisonous chemical is gonna have its own sort ofset of cankers or ailments. So like for Agent orange, we know there are certainpresumptive situations like diabetes type two. Asbestos exposure does not have its own presumptive ailments but, you are familiar with, the lung conditionsare more related to asbestos while, Agent orange has differentother types of conditions.So it’s gonna depend onwhat medical indicate presents, what science studies has been demonstrated that what maladies is a result of, which, type of exposureor which substances. So basically you’ll wannaclaim all the conditions that you have and explainthe different ways that you were exposed. And then a doctor, either the VA examiner or your own doctor willkinda help figure out what status do youhave that are due to what toxic revelations. – Okay, huge. Any other advice youcan give on these land claims and perhaps, can you tellveterans what to do if they feel that they have been exposed to asbestos? – Yes. So, one of the knotty thingswith these asbestos claims is they may not, your necessity may not showup for years and years. It can remain in your figure for decades. We’re talking 10 to 70 yearsafter your initial revelation. Cancers can take 20 to50 years to develop. So you may have beenexposed in the seventies and then now is whenyou’re having indications and you wouldn’t even thinkthat it’s due to asbestos.But so you’ll wanna talk to your doctor, whatever you notice, whatever you feel, particularly related to lung modes, made to ensure that you talk to your doctor so that they can give you a proper diagnosis. And then you’ll wanna try and think back and recollect how you couldhave been exposed to asbestos and then have the doctormake that connection for you. – Okay. As customary, great information, Melanie. Thank you. – Thanks. – If you have any questions orwant additional information, delight feel free to trip our website or label our position. Otherwise, thanks for joining us. – Thanks.( piano music continues ).