Chest X-rays, the Most Common Tools to Detect Navy Veterans’ Asbestos Exposure

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From the 1930s, the asbestos industry covered up scientific research linking the mineral to various severe diseases. Traders were well aware of the dangers of asbestos exposure, as medical research began documenting the risk, but they suppressed all information to make a substantial profit.

The hiding of such vital details impacted all those who purchased the "miracle material" and products manufactured with it, including the armed forces. Asbestos-related health hazards were ignored at the expense of thousands of veterans who contributed to the WWII effort and developed life-altering diseases many years after service.

With ships needing insulation from bow to stern, longtime asbestos exposure was an exceptionally high health risk in the Navy. Consequently, many naval veterans developed illnesses stemming from asbestos exposure decades after their military years. Asbestos fibers are microscopic, indestructible mineral particles that permanently injure major organs upon entering the body through inhalation or ingestion. They are culprits of severe diseases, among them asbestos-related cancers such as:

Veterans diagnosed with these cancers immediately qualify for expedited claims and become eligible for compensation if they have proof of asbestos exposure and medical documents showing one of these malignant diseases.

Asbestos Leaves Tell-Tale Signs Where It Damages the Body

Former Navy personnel exposed to asbestos over a long period develop symptoms of asbestos illnesses only much later in life when human health tends to alter naturally. It makes diagnosing an asbestos disease very challenging, especially if the condition reaches advanced stages by the time the first signs appear. It further complicates things that symptoms of common respiratory illnesses are very similar to those of asbestos-related diseases:

  • pain in the chest or shoulder
  • persistent dry cough
  • shortness of breath
  • night sweats
  • fatigue
  • general weakness
  • unintentional weight loss
  • respiratory system complications

While specific symptoms can help indicate a prior experience of asbestos exposure, imagistic tests are a surefire way to establish the cause of veterans' lung malfunctioning:

  • chest X-rays
  • CT scans
  • MRI

Doctors rely on these findings to gain a complex image of how asbestos fibers impact veterans' health, to examine the signs of degenerative processes taking place inside the veteran's body, and to find specific traces left by the lodged fibers, such as:

  • scarring
  • enlarged lymph nodes
  • tumors

B-Readers for Proof of Asbestos Exposure

Victims of asbestos exposure typically undergo a chest X-ray to check their lungs for asbestos fibers. However, because lung diseases caused by inhaling asbestos dust are challenging to diagnose, a medical professional experienced in interpreting the chest X-rays of people affected by occupational toxic exposure is necessary to evaluate them.

This medical professional must also be a B-reader, a specialized radiologist licensed to classify X-rays of interstitial lung diseases caused by inhaling toxic agents such as asbestos. A B-reader's opinion is of utmost importance in asbestos exposure cases. There are 12 classifications of asbestos lung diseases, determined by how many asbestos fibers are in your lungs, and only a B-reader can accurately assign you a classification.

Regular radiologists do not have the expertise to thoroughly interpret your chest X-ray if your lungs are affected by asbestos exposure. In contrast to them, a B-reader evaluates a chest X-ray to determine if the inhaled asbestos dust has caused any damage to the lungs, such as:

  • tissue scarring
  • nodules

A B-reader's lung assessment follows a stringent protocol that is carried out step-by-step to allow them to record any change or abnormality caused by asbestos fibers in your lungs. It is why only a B-reader can make a correct diagnosis for veterans injured by asbestos exposure.

Furthermore, a B-reader's evaluation is also a requirement of asbestos trust funds, so if you seek compensation, you'll need to have your chest X-rays examined by such a specialist and not by any other medical professional. Moreover, once you have a B-reader's positive conclusion on your asbestos report, you must be examined by a qualified medical professional specializing in diagnosing and treating diseases caused by asbestos exposure. Primary care doctors cannot assess your lungs; only qualified medical professionals like occupational medicine doctors can. A B-reader's evaluation helps you receive the most appropriate care and is also a requirement, as this is the only way to acquire the medical papers necessary to file a claim for asbestos exposure.

Assisting Navy Veterans to Receive the Compensation They Are Eligible For

If you served in the U.S. Navy from the 1930s to the early 1980s, you should pay extra attention to any changes in your health. Seeking medical assistance when symptoms become persistent is vital, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Veterans exposed to asbestos during their military years and who developed asbestos-related cancer can apply for compensation by legal action if they have proof of asbestos exposure and a documented diagnosis of their malignant illness.

Many Navy veterans may have met only now information about the dangers of asbestos on the ships built before the 1980s and the health impact of being exposed to the hazardous asbestos particles. We offer assistance by connecting them with expert attorneys ready to help them get the deserved indemnification.

If you have a cancer diagnosis please contact us

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