– Hi, today we’re gonna be talking about asbestos show in the military service, preconditions it could have caused who could have been uncovered, different assistances you can get. So we hope that you’ll join 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 be informed about this, we consider business about it.But what we’re gonna do todayis a little bit different because we’re gonnatalk about how veterans are solely, 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 essence or what is it? – Yes, so it is a naturallyoccurring material. It’s found in cliffs and soils. Not to get too technical but it’s composed ofthin needle-like fibers that are actually soft and adaptable. The important thing that wewould need to know about it is that it’s heat resistant, so it’s used as a shoot resistant, as insulating material, and it can be used tomake substances stronger like cement 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 cloths. The question with it is thatwhen it’s inhaled or absorbed, it becomes permanentlytrapped in their own bodies, which can then cause inflammation, disfiguring, genetic injure, which could then leadto cancers and diseases.Basically 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 horrid. So it is feasible, it is intentionally expended. I thought that it was just, you are familiar with, inherently, you know, inauspicious thatsometimes it’s present in certain textiles. Like, I know we hear about talc cases and it’s because like you said, you know, it comes from boulders and minerals and so, inherently, itwas sometimes in the talc or in information materials used for talc, but sometimes it is purposely used in order, like in cement? – Yeah, it is intentionally used for its advantageous factors, like the fact that it’s heat resistant and it’s used as insulationand things like that. I reflect the negative health effects about it weren’t realized until last-minute, and we’ll talk about thatin a little bit as to why. – Okay. So are talking about, you know, when youcould have been disclosed, 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 wiring, isolation vehicles. The Navy and the Marinesused it in sends, shipyards, airplanes, other armored vehicles. And with those ships, theyalso had poor breathing, which does somethinglike asbestos a lot worse. If you were a vehicle auto-mechanic, so while play-act routinemaintenance work on vehicles, there is indeed asbestoses in brakepads, seizures, accepts, gaskets, aircraft mechanics, because it was also used inthe rudders, gasoline arrangements, hydraulic plans, ex-servicemen who work with boiler plans, piping or cooling systems. According to the VA, this is the list of, “theyre saying” any veteran “whos working” in the followingcould have been disclosed. Ship yards, creation, carpentry, defeat, mining and milling, separation, tubes, roofing, flooring, plaster sheets, and friction makes. So it’s a lot.- Oh my goodness! – Not simply that, you could have also been uncovered 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 structure. So, if a building was shattered, desert hurricanes 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 suppose, well, you’re prettymuch treat,( jeers) I entail, that’s a lot of sites of showing if you were in the service- Yes.During those years. – 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 recognize like how, informative itis, how mind-boggling it is. Like, I always felt asbestos was something thatsometimes unfortunately in the seventies was in the insulation. And so you breathed itthrough these ducts, you are familiar with, we we’ve heard of sick structures and that, that was pretty much, you know it was just a happenstance and an deplorable coincidence, but from what you’re sayingand the direction it was used, I mean that it was actually even use. – Yes – This is crazy, and wewere just talking earlier about Vietnam veterans. And so this is still a large portion of our population thatcould have been exposed to asbestos and have modes as a resultof that show right now. Like this is not, – Right. – I think that lots of ages beings remember, Oh, this was a long time ago, so this isn’t affecting me now.This item, this doesn’t certify but, simply the roll that you granted, shipyards, construction, carpentry, the mining, the milling, and then the fact that you said that it could have been living quarters. Goodness courteous. And then you were sayingthat even in recent battles 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 new ideas what medical conditions arelinked to asbestos exposure.Because you may have acondition and be like, I had no idea this could havebeen because of asbestos. So, – Right. – Can you grant us new ideas of what some of those conditions “couldve been”? – Yes, so there are cancerous and there are alsonon-cancerous maladies. They’re going to revolvemostly around the lungs. The more popular is what’scalled mesothelioma.It’s a cancer thatoccurs in the thin bed of tissue that window-dressings themajority of the internal organs. It’s almost exclusivelycaused by asbestos. So that’s why that’s theone that we examine “the worlds largest”. – 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 compels breathing troubles. COPD, chronic obstructivepulmonary infection. There’s also pleural medals and effusions and disperse pleural thickening. Basically it’s scarringin the inner skin-deep of the rib cage and theareas smothering the lungs. So it can cause breathing problems. So you’ll wanna look for symptoms like grief, cough, breathlessness, shortness of breath, aching around the rib area. Just, different lung-related preconditions. – 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 are familiar with, a mass torts claim, because of this showing as well.So they’re not like mutually exclusive. – Right – But you mentioned asbestosis. So, time to touch on that really quickly, can you qualify for benefits for asbestosis as wellas, asbestos exposure or, and for that condition? – Yeah, so asbestos showing is not a condition in and of itself. So that’s not something that you claim. You claim a condition or an illness or an illness that “youve had”. 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 want your service records or you’ll wanna equip the following statement or you’re gonna specify your MLS, what your military obediences were, describe your duties in detail. And you’ll wanna talkabout how you were 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 be used to fall under this.What if you were exposed toseveral different things? I mean, what if you wereexposed to asbestos, but you were also exposed to Agent Orange, but you were also exposedto other herbicides, you are familiar with, how do they figure that out? Or how do they know which one, which umbrella to put you under, I suspect? – Right. So, – Or does it matter? – So each, show or noxious chemical is gonna have its own sort ofset of cancers or plights. So like for Agent Orange, we know there are certainpresumptive plights like diabetes type two. Asbestos exposure does not have its own presumptive milieu 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 evidence presents, what scientific studies has been demonstrated that what conditions is a result of, which, type of exposureor which substances. So mostly you’ll wannaclaim all the conditions that you have and explainthe different ways that “youre gonna” exposed. And then a doctor, either the VA examiner or your own doctor willkinda help figure out what modes do youhave that are due to what toxic exposures.- Okay, great. Any other suggestion youcan give on these claims and maybe, can you tellveterans what to do if they feel that they have been exposed to asbestos? – Yes. So, one of the dicey thingswith these asbestos claims is they may not, your surrounding may not showup for years and years. It can remain in your body for decades. We’re talking 10 to 70 yearsafter your initial showing. Cancers can take 20 to50 years to develop. So you may have beenexposed in the seventies and then now is whenyou’re having symptoms 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, specially related to lung status, make sure that you talk to your doctor so that they can give you a suitable diagnosis. And then you’ll wanna try and think back and remember how you couldhave been exposed to asbestos and then have the doctormake that connection for you. – Okay. As normal, great information, Melanie. Thank you. – Thanks. – If you have any questions orwant additional information, please feel free to trip our website or request our role. Otherwise, thanks for joining us. – Thanks.( piano music continues ).