– Hi, today we’re gonna be talking about asbestos exposure in the military forces, provisions it could have caused who could have been exposed, different benefits you can get. So we hope that you’ll attach 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 be informed about this, we encounter commercials about it. But what we’re gonna do todayis a little bit different because we’re gonnatalk about how ex-servicemen 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 element or what is it? – Yes, so it is a naturallyoccurring material. It’s found in stones and soils. Not to get too technical 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 textiles stronger like plaster and plastic.So, that’s why it’s used sowidely in so many industries, because it has, you know, great benefits to different substances. The question with it is thatwhen it’s inhaled or ingested, it becomes permanentlytrapped in the body, which can then cause inflammation, disfiguring, genetic shatter, which could then leadto cancers and sickness. 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 frightful. So it can, it is intentionally worked. I thought that it was just, you are well aware, inherently, you know, unfortunate thatsometimes it’s present in certain fabrics. Like, I know we hear about talc cases and it’s because like you said, you are well aware, it comes from cliffs 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 to support its profitable factors, like the fact that it’s heat resistant and it’s used as insulationand things like that.I review 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 speaking of, you are well aware, when youcould have been exposed, 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 u. s. air force, both used asbestos and electrical wiring, separation vehicles. The Navy and the Marinesused it in sends, shipyards, airliners, other armored vehicles. And to those used carries, theyalso had poverty-stricken breathing, which impels somethinglike asbestos a lot worse. If you were a vehicle car-mechanic, so while acting routinemaintenance work on vehicles, there were asbestoses in brakepads, clutches, demeanors, gaskets, aircraft machinists, because it was also used inthe rudders, gasoline organizations, hydraulic arrangements, ex-servicemen who work with boiler methods, piping or cooling systems. According to the VA, this is the list of, they say any ex-serviceman who worked in the followingcould have been exposed. Ship gardens, construction, carpentry, demolition, mining and milling, insularity, tubes, roofing, flooring, plaster sheets, and friction products. So it’s a lot.- Oh my goodness! – Not only that, you could have also been uncovered because it could have been hiddenin your sleeping quarters or within vehicles, withinweapons, within builds. 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 East, they imported a large quantity of asbestos in recent years for creation. So, if a house was demolished, desert puffs 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 consider,( belittles) I symbolize, that’s a lot of moments of showing if “youre in” the service- Yes. during those years. – Yes.- There been a great deal of opportunities for you to be exposed, – Right. – You know, it’s so interesting, you give this informationand I don’t think you recognise like how, instructive itis, how mind-boggling it is. Like, I ever speculated asbestos was something thatsometimes unfortunately in the seventies was in the insulation. And so you breathed itthrough these volcanoes, you know, we we’ve heard of sick structures 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 practice 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 cases as a resultof that showing right now. Like this is not, – Right. – I think that lots of epoch people conceive, Oh, this was a long time ago, so this isn’t affecting me now. This item, this doesn’t qualify but, merely the listing that you yielded, shipyards, creation, 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 wars with Iraq, did you sayIraq and Afghanistan were importing it? – Iraq exclusively, but other countries in the middle East as well.So it’s likely. – Okay. Okay. So hand 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 throw us an idea of what some of those conditions could be? – Yes, so there are cancerous and there are alsonon-cancerous modes. They’re going to revolvemostly around the lungs. The most popular is what’scalled mesothelioma. It’s a cancer thatoccurs in the thin layer of tissue that window-dressings themajority of the internal organ. It’s almost exclusivelycaused by asbestos.So that’s why that’s theone that we examine 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 makes breathing problems. COPD, chronic obstructivepulmonary disease. There’s also pleural medals and effusions and pervade pleural thicken. Mostly it’s scarringin the inner surface of the rib cage and theareas smothering the lungs. So it can cause breathing troubles. So you’ll wanna look for manifestations like aching, cough, breathlessness, shortness of breath, tendernes around the rib area. Just, different lung-related conditions. – 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 resulting 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, just to touch on that really quickly, can you qualify for benefits for asbestosis as wellas, asbestos revelation or, and for that state? – Yeah, so asbestos exposure 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 equip a statement or you’re gonna specify your MLS, what your military roles were, describe duties and responsibilities in detail. And you’ll wanna talkabout how “youre gonna” disclosed, how often and for how long. And then that’s gonna have been established by, because we know all these different areas where exposure was used, that’s gonna help show thatyou were exposed to asbestos – Talking about exposure, what if, what, and we, I think we have a lot of ex-servicemen that could fell within this. What if you were exposed toseveral different things? I entail, what if you wereexposed to asbestos, but you were also exposed to Agent Orange, but you were also exposedto other herbicides, you are well aware, how do they figure that out? Or how do they are aware which one, which umbrella to put you under, I guess? – Right. So, – Or does it matter? – So each, showing or noxious chemical is gonna have its own sort ofset of diseases or conditions.So like for Agent orange, we know there are certainpresumptive plights like diabetes type two. Asbestos exposure does not have its own presumptive situations but, you are well aware, the lung conditionsare more related to asbestos while, Agent orange has differentother types of conditions. So it’s gonna depend onwhat medical proof shows, what scientific studies have shown that what healths are caused by, which, type of exposureor which substances. So basically you’ll wannaclaim all the conditions that you have and explainthe different ways that “youre gonna” disclosed. And then a doctor, either the VA examiner or your own doctor willkinda help figure out what surroundings do youhave that are due to what toxic showings. – Okay, immense. Any other suggestion youcan give on these land claims and maybe, can you tellveterans what to do if they feel that they have been exposed to asbestos? – Yes. So, one of the slippery thingswith these asbestos claims is they may not, your case may not showup for years and years. It can remain in your mas for decades. We’re talking 10 to 70 yearsafter your initial exposure.Cancers can take 20 to50 years to develop. So you may have beenexposed in the seventies and then now is whenyou’re having manifestations 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 circumstances, 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 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, please feel free to inspect our website or order our bureau. Otherwise, thanks for joining us. – Thanks.( piano music continues ).