U.S. Navy service members were some of the people most heavily exposed people to asbestos in our country’s history, and they suffer more from mesothelioma than almost any other group. A risk assessment company in San Francisco says the Navy was one of the “most knowledgeable organizations in the world regarding the health hazards of asbestos.” Despite that knowledge, some of which came as early as the 1930s, the Navy still exposed a large number of soldiers to the deadly material.
ChemRisk researchers Kara Franke and Dennis Paustenbach examined dozens of published and unpublished documents on asbestos knowledge from 1900 to 1970. They found the Navy understood the health hazards of asbestos as early as the 1930’s. Though it required the use of asbestos on ships, the Navy did recommend certain precautions for safe handling of the material.
When asbestos was clearly linked with mesothelioma in the 1960’s, the Navy “attempted to implement procedures that would minimize the opportunity for adverse effects on both servicemen and civilians.”
Unfortunately, it was too little, too late for many servicemen.
It seems to take a long time for both government organizations and businesses to change when health hazards are discovered in their practices. It is regrettable, because so many lives are lost through inaction.
Cappolino Dodd Krebs LLP – mesothelioma lawyers