Military Personnel Risk Exposure to Cancer-Causing Ionizing Radiation


United States military personnel, in any branch of the Army, Navy, Marines or Air Force, who may have been exposed to occupational ionizing radiation, and have suffered from a related illness or cancer, may have a valuable claim against the government, and may seek compensation for related medical expenses and suffering.

Studies of military personnel participating in radiation-related activities show elevated mortality and cancer rates. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has long acknowledged the consequences of exposing servicemen and civilians to certain types of radiation, and has been paying out valid claims for decades to veterans and families of the afflicted.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati, Ohio Catastrophic Injury representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of consumer product liability and product defect cases.  


Weapons Handling and Ionizing Radiation

Several medical studies of military personnel exposed to radiation during nuclear weapons testing have contributed to scientific evidence regarding the adverse effects of radiation exposure on human health. These studies have reported elevations in risk for glioblastoma, leukemia and other cancers relative to comparison groups. Veterans who served in any of the following situations may have been exposed to radiation:

  • Fukushima Exposure—service members may have been exposed to radiation in Japan from March to May, 2011, following a nuclear accident.
  • Daily duties as a nuclear weapons technicians, radiographer, or dental technician.
  • LORAN radiation—U.S. Coast Guard Veterans who worked at Long Range Navigation stations from 1942 to 2010 may have been exposed to X-ray radiation.
  • McMurdo Station—the U.S. Navy operated a nuclear plant at the McMurdo Station, Antarctica, from 1964 to 1973.
  • Fernald workers in Ohio
  • Those performing work for the Department of Energy (DOE).

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What is Ionizing Radiation?

Ionizing radiation is a high-energy radiation, and a cause for radiation exposure during military service. Ionizing radiation contains enough energy to damage DNA in human cells, and cause a myriad of health issues with acute or chronic exposure, including glioblastoma.

VA has recognized certain diseases as related to ionizing radiation exposure during military service. Veterans may be eligible for disability compensation and health care for these diseases. Sources of ionizing radiation during military service include:

  • Nuclear weapons handling
  • Nuclear weapon detonation
  • Handling depleted uranium
  • Handling radioactive material
  • Performing calibration and measurement sources
  • X-rays

Diseases Related to Ionizing Radiation

Veterans who have participated in a radiation-risk activity during service may be at heightened risk of certain cancers in the years and decades following exposure. Afflicted Veterans don’t have to prove a connection between certain related diseases and their service to be eligible for compensation. Their survivors and families may also be eligible for benefits if the Veteran dies as the result of ionizing radiation exposure. Specific related cancers include:

  • Glioblastomas (brain tumors)
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphomas
  • Multiple myeloma (MM)

Other cancers associated with radiation exposure include cancers of the bile ducts, bone, brain, breast, colon, esophagus, gall bladder, liver, lung, pancreas, pharynx, ovary, salivary gland, intestine, stomach, thyroid, and urinary tract. The VA also recognizes other diseases are possibly caused by exposure to ionizing radiation during service:

  • Non-malignant thyroid nodular disease
  • Parathyroid adenoma
  • Central nervous system disorders

Radiation Lawsuits Filed by Veterans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) acknowledges that veterans are at risk for radiation-related diseases and cancers like glioblastoma. The VA offers compensation for veterans who have health problems as a result of ionizing radiation exposure during military service, however to be eligible for compensation, the exposure to ionizing radiation must have occurred when serving on active duty, or as a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces during a period of active duty.

But even if the federal government refuses to be held responsible for radiation exposure and the damage caused, veterans can still seek compensation through experienced attorneys. The government has a responsibility to protect America’s servicemen as much as possible. When they fail to protect our servicemen, they should compensate veterans and families for the damage they have caused. Veterans in Ohio who have developed glioblastoma cancer and other health issues may have VA benefit claims, or may have the option of filing a lawsuit.


Veterans Affairs Cancer Lawsuits

The Lyon Firm is dedicated to representing injured veterans in a variety of toxic exposure and service-related illness lawsuits. Compensation and settlements can help pay for medical expenses, pain and suffering and long-term disability.

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If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to radiation exposure, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.