Message For Naval Veterans



James F Murphy

1st May; 2000
Dear Deidre:
I read your web page with great interest and was saddened your husband expired from an asbestos disease and I thought you would be interested in reading my asbestos message.

It is my goal to inform as many former naval veterans about asbestos and asbestos related diseases. Since I have been on the internet: October 31st 1999, I have received (233) messages regarding asbestos and you would be surprised how many veterans are not aware of health hazards associated with asbestos exposure.
best regards,
James F. Murphy

"Former navy men who worked in engineering and hull groups"

I hope you have no objections on the e-mail I am sending you to read on asbestos exposure during your tour of duty with the United States Navy.
When you were on board ship during shipyard overhaul, repair or daily routine at sea and in port you may have been exposed to asbestos and not even have known about it.
Because asbestos fibres are so small and light, asbestos fibre masses have a tendency to break easily into tiny dust particles; that can float in the air for many hours after they are released, stick to your clothing, be inhaled or swallowed and this increases the chances that you had inhaled asbestos fibres....

Also, it has only been recently that former navy men have been seeking medical attention for asbestos exposure as the latency period from being exposed to asbestos varies from 10 to 45 years or more, between first exposure and the development of an asbestos related disease.
The reasons for this message is that the Department of the Navy and Veterans Affairs (VA) have no intentions of notifying former naval veterans regarding the health hazards of asbestos exposure.

This writer was advised by the Department of the Navy: informing me it is your responsibility to have yearly physical examinations and be tested for possible asbestos related diseases.
Department of The Navy Letter dated May 13th 1998.
In the event, you believe you were exposed to asbestos, make sure you have a complete chest examination and if required, a pulmonary function test for possible early detection of asbestos related diseases, "Benign Pleural diseases", "Asbestosis" and "Mesothelioma".
Also, former Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt recently expired from the asbestos related disease "mesothelioma" ,

on Sunday, January 3rd 2000.


By James Murphy

If you served in the U.S. Navy from the 1940's to the 1970's and you were stationed on shore or afloat commands, any rank or ratings, especially in the engineering and hull groups, such as machinist's mate (mm), machinery repairman (mr) or boilerman (bt), you may have been exposed to asbestos and have asbestos related diseases and do not even know you have these diseases.
Also, if you are a veteran of any U.S. Military branch or civilian employee who is concerned regarding past asbestos exposure while stationed on U.S. Military bases or did any type of work on U.S. Naval ships in shipyards, please make an appointment with your doctor for a physical examination and be tested (chest x-ray) for possible asbestosis.

The Department of Navy and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are not going to advise you to have a physical examination and chest x-ray for asbestosis and asbestos-related diseases.
Asbestosis means scarring of the lungs. This is slow developing that may not be obvious for years. A person with asbestosis will gradually have more trouble breathing, because scar tissues in the lungs makes it harder to expand the lungs and for oxygen to get into the blood-stream. This lack of oxygen can produce a strain on the heart and causes other medical problems.
The Department of Navy and Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) did not advise U.S. Naval personnel and shipyard civilian employees from the 1940s to the 1970s of the health hazards associated with asbestos exposure and to be tested (chest x-ray) for possible asbestosis.

Furthermore, there must be thousands of veterans from all branches of the military services and civilian employees still walking around, who were exposed to asbestos and do not even know they may have asbestos-related diseases, asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma, etc.

God only know how many died from asbestos exposure diseases without even knowing they had same. The Department of Navy and Veterans (VA) still are not addressing the problem and have no plans to inform anyone of the health hazards associated with asbestos exposure.

This writer was exposed to asbestos (and was not aware of the health hazards of asbestos) while serving aboard an U.S. Naval ship from November 1, 1955 to August 6, 1959.
During those years, I was never advised nor were any of my shipmates by the Department of Navy the health hazards of asbestos exposure, and was never given a physical examination or chest x-ray for possible asbestosis while on active duty and when being processed (discharged from, the Navy August 6, 1959).
I first became aware of asbestos exposure and asbestos related diseases when reading a news article in the Philadelphia Inquirer October 1995. I had my chest x-rayed November 27, 1995 and on December 6, 1995 was diagnosed with (pleural thickening) diaphragmatic calcifications consistent with asbestos exposure).


The reasons for this asbestos alert (on the Internet) is to alert and inform naval veterans and civilian employees who were exposed to asbestos on shore or afloat commands to have a physical examination and chest x-ray for possible asbestosis.
In summary, for the past several years I have been trying to convince the Secretary of Navy, Mr. John Dalton...Department of the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Captain D. H. Trump...Department of Veterans Mr. J. Derrick (PA)...Congressman Curt Weldon (PA) and Senator Arlen Spector (PA) do their job and "at least do something", place advertisements in the newspapers to notify former service members and civilian employees who may have been exposed to asbestos to have a physical examination and chest x-ray for possible asbestosis or asbestos-related diseases.
As of this writing I am still waiting for any response from these gentlemen. Note: With all due respect Congressman Curt Weldon (PA) did forward my letter to Department of Navy Secretary John Dalton who in turn forwarded same to Captain D. H. Trump and Senator Arlen Spector (PA) is still in the process of writing a letter since September 1998, to Secretary of Navy John Dalton for an estimated number of people affected and cost to notify same.

Some of asbestos-related diseases are as following:
Lung Cancer
Other cancers may sometimes be related to asbestos exposure:
Symptoms of lung problems caused by asbestos exposure:
Shortness of breath that may increase over time.
Weight loss
Chest pain
Coughing up blood
James F. Murphy
Former Navy Veteran
Attention U. S. Naval Veterans 9/16/1999


17th May;2000
Dear Deidre
I first became aware of asbestos related diseases when reading a news article regarding asbestos in the Philadelphia Inquirer October 1995.I had my chest xrayed November 27th 1995 and on the 6th December 1995 I was diagnosed with Benign Pleural Thickening (diaphragmatic calcifications consistent with asbestos exposure.
Regarding symptoms of asbestos diseases. I really do not have any except that I was always susceptible to respiratory chest colds and infections. About 1988 I received a pneumonia vaccine shot for same and I am due to have a booster shot this year.
Also for years, I believed I had respiratory allergies and frequently received allergy shots for same;  until I read about asbestos in the Philadelphia Inquirer and had my chest xrayed for any asbestos related disease. Every year I have a complete physical examination and every two years a chest xray. It was because of the one in 1995 that I was diagnosed.
I am still very athletic, do not smoke, do not drink (except for a small glass of wine before I retire for the evening, lift weights and work out on my treadmill every day.
Best regards,

Back To More Stories
On To Poems And Verses
E-Mail Me