– Hi, today we’re gonna be talking about asbestos showing in the military service, conditions it could have caused who could have been disclosed, different benefits you can get. So we hope that you’ll meet 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 pretty hot topic, which is asbestos exposurein the military service. So, Melanie, I knowthat we hear about this, we verify commercials about it. But what we’re gonna do todayis a little bit different because we’re gonnatalk about how veterans are specifically, 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 rocks and soils. Not to get too technological 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 ardor resistant, as insulating material, and it can be used tomake information 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 information. The problem with it is thatwhen it’s inhaled or absorbed, it becomes permanentlytrapped in the body, which can then cause inflammation, scarring, genetic impairment, 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 unspeakable. So it is feasible, it is intentionally worked. I thought that it was just, you know, inherently, you know, deplorable 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 rocks 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 intentionally used for its profitable parts, like the facts of the case that it’s heat resistant and it’s used as insulationand things like that. I picture 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 here about, you are familiar with, 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 air force, both used asbestos and electrical wire, insulation vehicles. The Navy and the Marinesused it in sends, shipyards, airplanes, other armored vehicles. And with those ships, theyalso had inadequate ventilation, which offsets somethinglike asbestos a lot worse. If you were a vehicle car-mechanic, so while accomplishing routinemaintenance work on vehicles, there is indeed asbestoses in brakepads, clutches, brings, gaskets, aircraft mechanics, because it was also used inthe rudders, fuel arrangements, hydraulic organizations, ex-servicemen who work with boiler arrangements, piping or cooling systems. Harmonizing to the VA, this is the list of, “theyre saying” any veteran who worked in the followingcould have been exposed.Ship grounds, building, carpentry, demolition, mining and milling, separation, pipes, roofing, flooring, cement expanses, and friction makes. So it’s a lot.- Oh my goodness! – Not merely 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 East, they imported a large quantity of asbestos in recent years for building. So, if a structure was razed, desert airs 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 coating,( mockeries) I signify, that’s a lot of tops of showing if you were in the service- Yes. during those times. – Yes.- There been a great deal of opportunities for you to be disclosed, – 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 always belief asbestos was something thatsometimes unfortunately in the seventies was in the insulation. And so you breathed itthrough these express, 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 haples coincidence, but from what you’re sayingand the road it was used, I mean that it was actually even consumed. – 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 necessities as a resultof that exposure right now. Like this is not, – Right. – I think that lots of terms beings conclude, Oh, this was a long time ago, so this isn’t affecting me now. This item, this doesn’t certify but, just the register that you handed, shipyards, creation, carpentry, the mining, the milling, and then the fact that you said that it could have been living quarters. Goodness affable. 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 sacrifice us new ideas 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 leave us an idea of what some of those conditions could be? – Yes, so there are cancerous and there are alsonon-cancerous necessities. They’re going to revolvemostly in different areas of the lungs. The more popular is what’scalled mesothelioma. It’s a cancer thatoccurs in the thin coating of tissue that floods 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 generates breathing problems.COPD, chronic obstructivepulmonary sicknes. There’s also pleural medals and effusions and imbue pleural thicken. Mostly it’s scarringin the inner face of the rib cage and theareas surrounding the lungs. So it can cause breathing difficulties. So you’ll wanna look for indications like anguish, cough, breathlessness, shortness of breath, grief around the rib area. Just, different lung-related modes. – 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 incurred as a result of asbestos exposure. And you could also have, you know, a mass torts claim, because of this showing as well. So they’re not like mutually exclusive. – Right – But you mentioned asbestosis. So, only to touch on that really quickly, can you qualify for benefits for asbestosis as wellas, asbestos showing or, and for that case? – 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 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 require your service records or you’ll wanna afford a statement or you’re gonna specify your MLS, what your military responsibilities were, describe your duties in detail. And you’ll wanna talkabout how “youre gonna” uncovered, 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 show, 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 convey, 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 are aware of which one, which umbrella to put you under, I predict? – Right. So, – Or does it matter? – So each, show or toxic chemical is gonna have its own sort ofset of infections or conditions.So like for Agent orange, we know there are certainpresumptive situations like diabetes type two. Asbestos exposure does not have its own presumptive circumstances 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 ground proves, what scientific studies have shown that what preconditions 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 you were exposed.And then a medical doctor, either the VA examiner or your own doctor willkinda help figure out what states 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 tricky thingswith these asbestos claims is they may not, your state may not showup for years and years. 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 situations, 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, delight feel free to call our website or call our agency. Otherwise, thanks for joining us. – Thanks.( piano music continues ).