Sonar technicians

Exposed to asbestos at their workplace

Known as sonarman until 1964, the military rating of sonar technician is also one of the U.S. Navy occupations at the highest risk of asbestos exposure. Responsible with underwater surveillance, as well as with repairing sonar equipment, sonar technicians would encounter plenty of asbestos while performing their job, as they were always inside the ships or submarines which were full of asbestos-containing products. Therefore, they now have a significant likelihood of developing life-threatening diseases.

Claim Evaluation

There are two categories of sonar technicians. The first operates on the surface, on Navy ships, whereas the second performs their job underwater, on submarines. Nevertheless, their duties are similar. Sonar technicians were in charge of operating sonar sensors for detection and classification of contacts, as well as underwater fire control systems, identifying underwater sounds, such as those stemming from torpedoes, submarines, evasion devices or surface ships, collecting and interpreting data, detecting important equipment malfunctions and, last but not least, performing preventive and corrective maintenance on sonar equipment.

However, it was the environment they would perform their work in that was detrimental to the health of sonar technicians. Since Navy ships and submarines were laden with asbestos, particularly insulation, sonar technicians, who were not wearing any protective equipment, would constantly breathe in carcinogenic fibers. Today, approximately 30% of veterans suffer from terrible diseases as a consequence of military asbestos exposure, including numerous sonar technicians.

Relevant job titles

  • sonarman
  • sonar technician (submarine)
  • sonar technician (surface)
  • sonarman (harbor defense)


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.

Companies that exposed sonar technicians to asbestos

Labor union members are also eligible

Union Member Claims