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Members of the United States armed forces put their lives on the line to protect our country and it’s citizens from harm each and every day. The dangers these soldiers face aren’t always a foreign enemy, though. In fact, the threat is sometimes right under their noses.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral used in many industrial products and materials. Exposure to asbestos can cause an individual to develop several deadly forms of cancer. While asbestos lung cancer and mesothelioma are commonly reported, so are forms of the disease that affect the stomach, colon, and throat.

Soldiers and veterans tend to be at a higher risk of developing asbestos-related diseases. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates veterans account for roughly 30 percent of 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma that are reported each year. They also account for around the same percentage of all annual asbestos-related deaths. This is due to the military’s extensive use of products containing asbestos over the past 50 years.

Veterans who have been exposed to asbestos or other harmful substances should be aware of their legal rights to compensation. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs outline the eligibility requirements and steps to apply for compensation on their website. However, sometimes claims for benefits stemming from asbestos exposure are denied.

If you find yourself in this situation, it may be wise to speak with a Birmingham veterans benefits lawyer. Doing so can help clarify the legal process of appealing your case and can help ensure any questions you have are answered.