Showing posts with label asbestos exposure. Show all posts
Showing posts with label asbestos exposure. Show all posts

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Housing privatization initiative, put military families in squalor

Families living with military housing horrors plea for reforms

Published: February 13, 2019
Several witnesses and lawmakers agreed Wednesday that the residential horror stories can be traced back to the 1996 military housing privatization initiative that let contractors take over management of the residences. Previously, the military managed these properties.
Military spouse Janna Driver testifies Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, during a Senate Armed Services subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, as fellow military spouses Crystal Cornwall, left, and Jana Wanner look on. CARLOS BONGIOANNI/STARS AND STRIPES
WASHINGTON — Termites falling from light fixtures. Toxic mold sickening families. Rodent infestations of residences. Asbestos and lead paint exposures.

This is the alarming world of dilapidated military housing today.

On Wednesday, some families who have suffered with these residential nightmares told their stories on Capitol Hill.

“Our military families do not deserve this after all the sacrifices they make,” Janna Driver, the wife of an active-duty Air Force servicemember and mother of five children, told lawmakers during an extensive Senate hearing on military housing problems. “It is criminal. It is unbelievable the extent of this cover up.”

Driver joined two other military spouses during the more than three-hour hearing to plead for help as they detailed years of battles with deteriorating housing conditions, subsequent illnesses and extensive bills.
Private military housing executives and top military officials also testified before the joint subpanel hearing for the Senate Armed Services Committee. They said they are now addressing the concerns.
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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Disabled veteran has chance to talk again...but VA won't pay for it


February 12, 2019

GARDEN VALLEY — When William “Bud” Paine descended to the lower levels of the Naval Destroyer Escort to stand by on fire watch as welders took to maintenance of the ship, he was handed a canteen and a bandanna.

“'Just keep the bandanna wet,' they said. 'This stuff won’t hurt you,'” Paine, now 63, recalled.

"This stuff" was the 96,000 pounds of asbestos sharing living quarters on board with the Navy sailors.

His exposure to insulation material during his service led to a throat cancer diagnosis in 2001, a year of failed radiation treatment and the final option of removing his voice box in 2002.

Paine has communicated for over 15 years by forcing air through a prosthesis that acts as his vocal chords and must be changed every three months. Relearning how to talk took him six months after the procedure.

Hope to regain his voice again came by an ad for a new clinical trial on his Facebook feed last spring. The Mayo Clinic campus in Arizona is attempting to give individuals who have had their larynx removed — about 60,000 Americans — the chance to get it back by organ transplant or rebuilding their own with stem cells.

Though Paine's disability resulted from his military service, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs' strict policy against funding clinical trials has left him in a desperate search for the funds.

Clash for funds

Paine loved being at sea. Now, he can’t even step foot in a boat.

“If something happened,” he said, “I’d drown immediately.”

He doesn’t know if any other members of his Navy crew from 1972 to 1974 suffered cancer or other radiation-related illnesses, but he can’t imagine they didn’t.
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Monday, February 23, 2009

Veterans Exposed to Asbestos

One more thing for the troops and their families to worry about along with our veterans. Also, one more thing the media has not reported on.

Mesothelioma Cases Remain High for Military Veterans Exposed to Asbestos
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs stated that out of the millions of veterans who have served the country, hundreds of thousands have been exposed to asbestos during their service. Regarded as one of many cover-ups jointly executed by corporations and government, it appears that the asbestos scandal still has not reached its climax.Widely used by every military branch in the United States, over 300 products containing asbestos were used by the Navy and other military sectors from the 1930s through the 1970s.

This has led to asbestos exposure among hundreds of thousands of military personnel. Although not everyone who is exposed to asbestos will develop an asbestos-related illness, long-term exposure does increase the possibility. Asbestos exposure can cause severe ailments such as asbestosis and pleural mesothelioma, a highly aggressive cancer caused almost exclusively by asbestos exposure.

Approximately 2,000 to 3,000 new mesothelioma cases are reported every year in the United States alone.Due to an intense latency period associated with mesothelioma, many soldiers will not experience related symptoms until 20 to 50 years after exposure, when the disease has already progressed to its later stages. Many symptoms of mesothelioma are ones found with other less serious conditions, making early diagnosis a significant challenge for physicians.Around the turn of the 20th century, asbestos business grew into a major corporate industry with large profits and thousands of employees. By 1922, the Navy issued a medical checklist that placed asbestos in a list of hazardous occupations and recommended the use of respirators.

The U.S. Navy was not ignorant of the dangers of asbestos and evidence shows the hazardous qualities of asbestos was swiftly covered up by asbestos manufacturers. Any asbestos concerns were silenced in the race to build the U.S. Navy fleet prior to World War II.Working in shipyards during WWII became almost as dangerous as fighting in the war itself. As many as four million service men and women worked in shipyards repairing and building giant vessels. Thousands of tons of asbestos were used as piping and boiler insulation aboard navigation rooms, sleeping quarters and mess halls in ships.The Navy issued a ban on asbestos-contaminated materials on new ships in 1973, but then violated its own ban for the next five years.In 1983, the Navy Asbestos Control Program was created to help facilitate compliance with asbestos-related regulations set by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Despite these actions, many veterans continued to be exposed to high levels of asbestos even after the Navy began to replace contaminated ships.The majority of veteran asbestos exposure continues to occur when veterans work on naval vessels where asbestos-contaminated products were heavily used. Many of these older ships are decommissioned and sent for overhaul to third world countries that have limited regulations or little knowledge of the dangers of asbestos.This phase of exposure began in the 1990s when the U.S. Navy began to sell obsolete ships for scrap materials where workers have no prior knowledge of the dangers involved in handling asbestos. Usually these workers are not given any protective equipment to prevent potential exposure.

Since March 2003, United States combat troops have been stationed in Iraq where they face many dangers while performing military operations. Many are unaware of the potential threat of asbestos exposure. Documents from 2003 reveal that over $194,000 worth of asbestos was imported into Iraq. This presents a significant hazard for all soldiers stationed in the country because intense winds and desert sands can carry asbestos dust for long distances.Veterans with asbestos-related disease unfortunately find themselves in a tough situation because they experience difficulty in obtaining assistance and benefits for their illness, there are currently very few mesothelioma doctors-- making treatments hard to come by.

Currently, mesothelioma is not readily recognized as a service-related medical ailment. However, veterans can apply for Veteran Affairs (VA) benefits for asbestos-related illness and must provide proof of a mesothelioma prognosis, and that their exposure occurred at the time of their military service.Some naval vessels and public facilities may still contain asbestos-laden materials, such as clutches, brakes, gaskets or older construction materials. Thus, the potential remains for yet another generation of veterans and civilians to be exposed to asbestos on a global scale.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fort Bragg, 10 soldiers exposed to asbestos

Army says NC soldiers exposed to asbestos


FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) - The Army says Fort Bragg paratroopers assigned to clean a barracks storage room were exposed unknowingly to asbestos, but a soldier's father said officials should have known about the material.

The Fayetteville Observer reported Wednesday that medical tests showed that up to 10 soldiers in the 82nd Airborne Division were not exposed to dangerous levels. The exposure occurred when the soldiers in the 1st Brigade Combat team scraped floor tiles and carried out debris during the past three weeks.
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