In the years of the “police action” in Korea, the dangers of asbestos were not widely known — particularly among the members of the military who were dealing with asbestos on a daily basis as part of their service to their country. Now, some 35 years after the Korean War was ended by armistice in the summer of 1953, mesothelioma cancer diagnoses began increasing in veterans.

Many Military Jobs Involved Asbestos

As the first armed confrontation of the Cold War between the superpowers of the U.S. and the Soviet Union, the Korean War produced more than 36,000 U.S. military combat casualties and more than 1.5 million deaths among all of the combatants and civilians. Thousands of men and women served the U.S. war effort in military and civilian jobs that brought them into contact with toxic levels of asbestos, including:

  • Mechanics
  • Masons
  • Demolition workers
  • Electricians
  • Firemen
  • Machinists
  • Carpenters
  • Pipefitters
  • Plasterers
  • Plumbers
  • Sheetmetal workers
  • Shipyard workers
  • Welders

Asbestos: A Confirmed Carcinogen

Asbestos is a human carcinogen; that is, when a human being ingests or inhales asbestos, it can produce asbestos cancer, including mesothelioma cancer, lung cancer, and other types of tumors. The only confirmed cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure, and it’s estimated that from 1940 to 1979, more than 27 million people in the United States were exposed to asbestos as part of their jobs. The members of the military who supported the war effort in Korea are certainly among this alarming number.

Answers to Your Questions about Korean War-Era Asbestos

Developing mesothelioma is a tragic consequence of many individuals’ military service. If you are a Korean War vet with mesothelioma cancer or concerns about your risks, contact mesothelioma treatment centers today for more information.

Mesothelioma Korean War Veterans (english) / Mesotelioma Veteranos en Guerra de Corea (spanish)