– Hi, today we’re gonna be talking about asbestos exposure in the military service, cases it could have caused who could have been exposed, different benefits you can get. So we hope that you’ll affiliate us in order to discuss this information.( upbeat music) Hi, and welcome back to Hill& Ponton VA Disability Blog.( forte-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 reasonably hot topic, which is asbestos exposurein the military service. So, Melanie, I knowthat we hear about this, we accompany commercials about it.But what we’re gonna do todayis a little bit different because we’re gonnatalk about how veterans are specific, or couldhave been specifically exposed to asbestos. But I wanna going to go 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 boulders and soils. Not to get too technological but it’s composed ofthin needle-like fibers that are actually soft and flexible. 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 fabrics stronger like plaster and plastic.So, that’s why it’s used sowidely in so many industries, because it has, you are familiar with, great benefits to different fabrics. The problem with it is thatwhen it’s inhaled or absorbed, it becomes permanentlytrapped in the body, which can then cause inflammation, disfiguring, genetic impair, which could then leadto cancers and cancers. Basically what you need to know, it’s been banned inmore than 60 countries, but it hasn’t been banned in the US. So, that kind of shows how bad it can be.- Wow – Yeah. – That’s kind of sad and horrendous. So it can, it is purposely exploited. I thought that it was just, you are familiar with, inherently, you know, hapless thatsometimes it’s present in certain textiles. Like, I know we hear about talc cases and it’s because like you said, you are familiar with, it comes from cliffs 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 purposely used to support its advantageous points, like the facts of the case that it’s heat resistant and it’s used as insulationand things like that.I imagine 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 wiring, insularity vehicles. The Navy and the Marinesused it in carries, shipyards, airliners, other armored vehicles. And with those ships, theyalso had good breathing, which concludes somethinglike asbestos a lot worse. If you were a vehicle car-mechanic, so while performing routinemaintenance work on vehicles, there is indeed asbestoses in brakepads, controls, bears, gaskets, aircraft mechanics, because it was also used inthe rudders, gasoline structures, hydraulic organizations, veterans who work with boiler plans, piping or cooling systems.According to the VA, this is the list of, “theyre saying” any ex-serviceman who worked in the followingcould have been exposed. Ship yards, construction, carpentry, defeat, mining and milling, separation, pipes, roofing, flooring, cement expanses, and friction commodities. So it’s a lot.- Oh my goodness! – Not simply that, you could have also been disclosed because it could have been hiddenin your sleeping quarters or within vehicles, withinweapons, within houses. And, it’s not only veteransfrom the 1930 s to 1970 s. Too, they have found that in Iraq and other countries in the Middle East, they imported large amounts of asbestos in recent years for construction.So, if a structure was swallowed, desert breezes could havespread the asbestos for miles, exposing all the veteransthat served in Iraq, – You’re going down this list, which is almost incomprehensible to me. And, I’m sitting here idea, well, you’re prettymuch veil,( scoffs) I mean, that’s a lot of qualities 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 realise like how, instructive itis, how mind-boggling it is. Like, I ever meditated asbestos was something thatsometimes unfortunately in the seventies was in the insulation. And so you breathed itthrough these shows, you know, we we’ve heard of sick builds and that, that was pretty much, you know it was just a happenstance and an disastrou co-occurrence, but from what you’re sayingand the room it was used, I mean that it was actually even used.- 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 surroundings as a resultof that exposure right now. Like this is not, – Right. – I think that lots of period beings repute, Oh, this was a long time ago, so this isn’t affecting me now. This item, this doesn’t qualify but, just the directory that you returned, shipyards, construction, carpentry, the mining, the milling, and then the fact that you said that it could have been living quarters.Goodness loving. And then you were sayingthat even in recent battles with Iraq, did you sayIraq and Afghanistan were importing it? – Iraq solely, but other countries in the middle East as well. So it’s likely. – Okay. Okay. So dedicate 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 impart us new ideas of what some of those conditions “couldve been”? – Yes, so there are cancerous and there are alsonon-cancerous status. They’re going to revolvemostly in different areas of the lungs. The most popular is what’scalled mesothelioma. It’s a cancer thatoccurs in the thin bed of material that cover-ups themajority of the internal organs. It’s almost exclusivelycaused by asbestos. So that’s why that’s theone that we hear 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 tissue that effects breathing questions. COPD, chronic obstructivepulmonary illnes. There’s also pleural plaques and effusions and spread pleural thicken. Mostly it’s scarringin the inner skin-deep of the rib cage and theareas encircling the lungs. So it can cause breathing problems.So you’ll wanna look for symptoms like sorenes, cough, breathlessness, shortness of breath, pain around the rib area. Just, different lung-related requirements. – I know that you mentioned asbestosis, and I know from myexperience with these cases because there’s also masstorts claims by the way, are connected 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 incurred as a result of asbestos exposure. And you could also have, you know, a mass torts claim, because of this exposure 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 benefits for asbestosis as wellas, asbestos show or, and for that state? – 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 wishing your service records or you’ll wanna render a statement or you’re gonna specify your MLS, what your military offices were, describe official duties in detail. And you’ll wanna talkabout how you were exposed, 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 showing, 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 approximate? – Right.So, – Or does it matter? – So each, showing or lethal chemical is gonna have its own sort ofset of infections or cases. So like for Agent Orange, we know there are certainpresumptive conditions like diabetes type two. Asbestos exposure does not have its own presumptive healths but, you know, the lung conditionsare more related to asbestos while, Agent orange has differentother types of conditions.So it’s gonna depend onwhat medical indication depicts, what scientific studies has been demonstrated that what conditions are caused by, which, type of exposureor which compounds. So basically 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 necessities do youhave that are due to what toxic revelations. – Okay, enormous. Any other opinion youcan give on these claims and perhaps, can you tellveterans what to do if they feel that they have been exposed to asbestos? – Yes. So, one of the difficult thingswith these asbestos claims is they may not, your position may not showup for years and times. It can remain in your mas 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, especially related to lung conditions, 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 remember how you couldhave been exposed to asbestos and then have the doctormake that connection for you. – Okay. As usual, great information, Melanie. Thank you. – Thanks. – If you have any questions orwant additional information, please feel free to call our website or call our part. Otherwise, thanks for joining us. – Thanks.( piano music continues ).