Exposed to asbestos at their workplace

While the rating of instrumentman was disestablished in 1999, people who had this job in the military before 1980 are nowadays at high risk of developing a serious disease as a consequence of asbestos exposure. Instrumentmen would perform their job in the area where they were deployed, depending on the country’s need for defense and safety. However, they would spend significant time inside military ships, where exposure to asbestos was unavoidable.

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The responsibilities of instrumentmen included repairing various precision instruments, such as submarine periscopes, watches, clocks, sextants, and office equipment. As for the locations where they would perform their job, these were often tenders, shore installations, or carriers. Due to the fact that instrumentmen would also work inside the ship, they are today one of the military occupations at the highest risk of developing a disease related to asbestos exposure, such as mesothelioma or lung cancer.

Most of their job entailed overhauling and adjusting fire-control and sighting devices. Thus, instrumentmen would disassemble, examine, and replace components of compasses, range, and height finders, as well as field glasses by employing hand tools. Moreover, instrumentmen would file gear to eliminate manufacturing defects, which would inevitably release asbestos fibers in the air, therefore exposing not only themselves but also the people around them at great risk of becoming ill over time. Lastly, instrumentmen were in charge of repairing fighter jets, too.

Relevant job titles

  • electrician
  • electrician's mate
  • electrician engineering technician
  • electrical drafters
  • electrical and electronic equipment assembler
  • electronics technician
  • ground support equipment repair


Filing a claim with asbestos trust funds does not disqualify you from disability compensation from the VA.

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Asbestos-related cancer eligible for filing a claim

If you developed one of the following cancers as a result of occupational exposure, you are eligible for compensation. If you are too ill, a family member can help you with the legal process. In the unfortunate event that you pass away before recovering compensation, your surviving family members will receive compensation on your behalf.

Lung Cancer Mesothelioma Throat Cancer Esophageal Cancer Bronchial Cancer Gastrointestinal Cancer Colorectal Cancer

If, however, you struggle with non-cancerous pleural diseases such as asbestosis, pulmonary fibrosis, pleural plaques, pleural effusion, diffuse pleural thickening, COPD (emphysema & chronic bronchitis), pleurisy, lung nodules, lung spots, asthma, pneumonitis, tuberculosis, rounded atelectasis or lung scarring, please seek a second or even a third opinion as the rate of misdiagnosis is very high among the victims of asbestos exposure.