– Hi, today we’re gonna be talking about asbestos showing in the military service, provisions it could have caused who could have been disclosed, different benefits 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.( 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 fairly hot topic, which is asbestos exposurein the military service. So, Melanie, I knowthat we be informed about this, we interpret commercial-grades 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 essence or what is it? – Yes, so it is a naturallyoccurring material. It’s is located within cliffs 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 flaming resistant, as insulating material, and it can be used tomake cloths stronger like cement 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 trouble with it is thatwhen it’s inhaled or ingested, it becomes permanentlytrapped in the body, which can then cause inflammation, scarring, genetic impair, which could then leadto cancers and illness. 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 horrible. So it is feasible, it is purposely use. I thought that it was just, you are familiar with, inherently, you know, hapless thatsometimes it’s present in certain information. Like, I know we hear about talc cases and it’s because like you said, you are familiar with, it comes from rock-and-rolls and minerals and so, inherently, itwas sometimes in the talc or in information materials used for talc, but sometimes it is intentionally used in order, like in plaster? – Yeah, it is purposely used for its advantageous points, 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 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 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, separation vehicles. The Navy and the Marinesused it in sends, shipyards, airplanes, other armored vehicles. And to those used sends, theyalso had good ventilation, which reaches somethinglike asbestos a lot worse. If “youre gonna” a vehicle mechanic, so while accomplishing routinemaintenance work on vehicles, there is indeed asbestoses in brakepads, seizures, bears, gaskets, aircraft machinists, because it was also used inthe rudders, oil structures, hydraulic systems, ex-servicemen who work with boiler methods, piping or cooling systems. According to the VA, this is the list of, “theyre saying” any veteran “whos working” in the followingcould have been exposed.Ship gardens, building, carpentry, demolition, mining and milling, separation, hoses, roofing, flooring, plaster sheets, and resistance produces. 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 constructs. And, it’s not only veteransfrom the 1930 s to 1970 s. Likewise, they have found that in Iraq and other countries in the Middle East, they imported large amounts of asbestos in recent years for building. So, if a construct was shattered, 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 theory, well, you’re prettymuch cros,( scorns) I make, that’s a lot of extents of showing if “youre 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 recognise like how, informative itis, how mind-boggling it is. Like, I always supposed asbestos was something thatsometimes regrettably in the seventies was in the insulation. And so you breathed itthrough these express, you are familiar with, we we’ve heard of sick houses and that, that was pretty much, you know it was just a happenstance and an inauspiciou co-occurrence, but from what you’re sayingand the acces it was used, I mean that it was actually even applied. – 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 problems as a resultof that exposure right now. Like this is not, – Right. – I think that lots of period parties conclude, Oh, this was a long time ago, so this isn’t affecting me now.This item, this doesn’t qualify but, precisely the schedule that you generated, shipyards, structure, carpentry, the mining, the milling, and then the fact that you said that it could have been living quarters. Goodness kindly. And then you were sayingthat even in recent struggles 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 pass us an idea 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 pay 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 in various regions of the lungs. The most popular is what’scalled mesothelioma. It’s a cancer thatoccurs in the thin seam of tissue that reports themajority of the internal organs. It’s almost exclusivelycaused by asbestos. So that’s why that’s theone that we listen 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 causes breathing troubles. COPD, chronic obstructivepulmonary malady. There’s also pleural medals and effusions and imbue pleural thicken. 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 grief, cough, breathlessness, shortness of breath, tendernes around the rib area. Just, different lung-related predicaments. – 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 suffered from asbestos exposure.And you could also have, you are familiar with, a mass torts claim, because of this show 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 revelation or, and for that surrounding? – 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 mis your service records or you’ll wanna require the following statement or you’re gonna specify your MLS, what your military jobs 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 show, what if, what, and we, I think we have a lot of ex-servicemen that could fall under this.What if you were exposed toseveral different things? I signify, 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 approximate? – Right. So, – Or does it matter? – So each, show or noxious chemical is gonna have its own sort ofset of cancers or cases. So like for Agent orange, we know there are certainpresumptive necessities like diabetes type two. Asbestos exposure does not have its own presumptive milieu 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 suggestion proves, what scientific studies have shown that what surroundings are caused by, 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 medical doctor, either the VA examiner or your own doctor willkinda help figure out what circumstances do youhave that are due to what toxic exposures.- Okay, enormous. Any other advice 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 tricky thingswith these asbestos claims is they may not, your malady may not showup for years and years. It can remain in your torso 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 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, particularly related to lung status, 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 customary, great information, Melanie. Thank you. – Thanks. – If you have any questions orwant additional information, please feel free to tour our website or ask our office.Otherwise, thanks for joining us. – Thanks.( piano music continues ).