Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Asbestos Exposure May Concern Ohio Veterans Even Today

During the 20th century, asbestos use was prevalent in the U.S. military, as the World War II war effort demanded large amounts of materials for military equipment production. Asbestos was abundant in the markets, and manufacturers wanted to make the most of its utility and low price, ignoring the health risks of incorporating asbestos in products. Although the Navy exploited asbestos the most, putting naval personnel at an outstandingly high risk of asbestos exposure, this doesn’t exclude other military bases from being a potential source of asbestos contamination. 

Considering the extensive use of asbestos in military property like vehicles, tools, barracks, aircraft, and ships, service members risked asbestos exposure whenever they fulfilled duty on land, sea, or air. In addition to being exposed to several hazardous materials, working near asbestos products may have been an added risk to Ohio veterans’ deteriorating health, as diseases linked to toxic exposure to asbestos are on the rise today. The issue concerns Ohio’s veteran population, as well as Oberlin City’s veteran community.

Oberlin’s WWII historical events are reflected by the list of over 700 local people who served overseas in the Pacific war theater and in the community’s welcoming attitude toward relocated Japanese Americans. The city’s wartime memorial landmarks include the Memorial Garden built for the Oberlin College alums who lost their lives in battle.

Ohio’s WWII military past includes Wright Patterson Air Force Base, currently the largest Air Force military base in the U.S. It had approximately 50,000 people running operations in over 300 facilities in wartime. The state also hosts Youngstown Warren Air Reserve Station, called Youngstown Air Force Base in the 1950s, defending the north central United States. The installation also hosts a Navy Operational Support Center and a collocated Marine Corps Reserve detachment home to Navy and Marine Corps reservists.

The impact of asbestos exposure on veterans’ health

Airborne asbestos particles can float in the air for hours when disturbed. They are easily inhaled or ingested due to their microscopic size, making asbestos dust one of the most toxic substances humans have encountered. These tiny, sharp-edged threads cause permanent damage to major organs, leading to devastating diseases.

One of the most horrific aspects of asbestos diseases is the decades-long latency period between exposure and the first symptoms. Even if veterans had no health issues during their service, they’d learn the effects of asbestos exposure only when they are diagnosed with conditions stemming from it, like asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer, or other severe respiratory diseases.

The continuous fight for health after asbestos exposure

Although decades have passed since the military excessively used asbestos, veterans who were in contact with it during service now have to fight for their health. Many must come to terms with the fact that their asbestos related diseases will shorten their life. 

With Ohio ranking in the top 10 states for asbestos-related deaths, veterans should consult their doctors urgently. Knowing that early detection considerably improves treatment results and prolongs life expectancy, they should proactively protect their health through.

Regular health check-ups Medical examinations and being open about military service and possible asbestos exposure are essential. Inhaled asbestos fibers damage the lungs first, so veterans should request chest X-rays, CT scans, and pulmonary function tests (breathing tests). These tests show any injury caused by the asbestos fibers and are reliable in diagnosing benign and malignant asbestos-related diseases.

 Promoting awareness 

Veterans can play a crucial role in raising awareness and educating by sharing their knowledge about asbestos exposure with their communities. By speaking openly about their experiences, they can make sure that others who protected our country are informed.

Besides expressing our gratitude to veterans, we also have a responsibility to help protect their well-being. Awareness of asbestos exposure is an important part of this responsibility. By informing about this still-lurking danger, we can ensure that those who served receive the care and support they rightly deserve.

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