A naturally occurring mineral, asbestos was used for decades in fire retardant and insulation material. Even used in gas fireplaces in homes for many years. I remember as a child watching the blue flames from the gas, seeing it change the color on the asbestos heat deflectors. Asbestos workers of the period usually did not wear protective equipment to prevent inhaling the extremely toxic dust. The governmental standards on safe exposure levels have varied over the years. In 1994, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set a lower standard designed to reduce asbestos-related illnesses to four cases per 1,000 workers exposed.
All shipyard workers were exposed to the asbestos dust for many years. According to the EPA, naval shipyard workers were the first group to develop asbestosis, which causes lung scarring when the body produces acid to try to dissolve asbestos particles. Asbestos has an incubation period of up to 40 years.
Asbestos definitely causes cancer, including one cancer of the lung whose only known cause is asbestos, and which is estimated to kill about 2,000 people a year mesothelioma, more precisely malignant mesothelioma, which is a rare form of cancer that develops from the protective lining that covers many of the body's internal organs, which is the mesothelium.
In 1973 landmark case, in which plaintiffs successfully held that asbestos manufacturers failed to warn of an unreasonably dangerous product, asbestos-related illness was compensated through workers’ compensation.
To claim or amend your claim, to include asbestos residuals due to exposure on active duty. You must clearly state you are treated for the condition and it continues to be chronic. You must tell the VA how you were exposed such as a Navy Fireman and exposed to asbestos as a Boilerman and Boiler repair, or like duty. Also those who wore asbestos gear in Damage Control parties, or hot shellman on gun mounts. Again you must prove contact with asbestosis.