In the United States, military occupations have the highest number of mesothelioma patients and roughly a third of all mesothelioma patients are veterans. Veterans, particularly those who served during the 1930s and 1980s, have been exposed to large amounts of asbestos on naval ships, in shipyards, in base barracks, and in military housing.
Historically, certain occupations have been associated with an elevated risk of asbestos exposure, including naval and non-naval shipyard workers and contractors. Between World War II and the Korean War, in particular, these shipyard workers came into contact with very dangerous levels of asbestos, increasing the likelihood of them and/or their family members developing mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other asbestos-related diseases.
Out of all United States military branches, the United States Navy's veterans have the highest risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses. All veterans who have been diagnosed and whose diagnoses have been attributed to asbestos exposure during the time they served in the military can get treatment and benefits through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and may be entitled to compensation through VA claims and asbestos trust funds.