What Is Asbestos?
Where Have People Been Exposed to Asbestos?
In the Military
Men and women who served in the U.S. armed forces, especially in the Navy, may have worked in dangerous environments without knowing. Asbestos-containing products were used in every military branch and found throughout Navy ships, construction materials, protective gear, and shipyards, to name a few. As a group, veterans make up a majority of the diagnosed mesothelioma cases each year.
Today, asbestos-containing products in the workplace are highly regulated — but it didn’t used to be that way. In fact, it wasn’t that long ago when these dangerous materials surrounded all kinds of people doing all kinds of work — from auto mechanics, to firefighters, to the construction workers who handled products like insulation, wallboard, roofing shingles, flooring and ceiling tiles.
Just like secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer, secondhand asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma. One common way this can happen is when family members are exposed to asbestos fibers — often appearing as dust — brought home on a loved one’s work clothes. For example, if your husband’s work environment contained asbestos, and you washed his dusty clothes, you may have been exposed too.