HASAG Supports Current and Veteran Service Personnel

Hundreds of Army tanks and vehicles contain asbestos and why it should be more than a ‘serious concern’

The Ministry of Defence has recently admitted that over 2,000 army tanks and vehicles could contain asbestos containing materials and many of these pieces of equipment worryingly remain in use by military personnel today.

It is surprising to hear of the large amount of equipment that still contains asbestos, and which may be exposing the soldiers of today to damaged asbestos due to the intense wear and tear that they face.

A full list of equipment that had asbestos containing materials included the below:

765 Bulldog armoured personnel carriers,

324 Challenger 2 tanks, 

75 Challenger armoured repair and recovery vehicles,

11 Fuchs armoured vehicles,

14 Gazelle reconnaissance helicopters,

31 high mobility trailers,

841 Pinzgauer 4x4s,

64 Stormer armoured vehicles,

540 Warrior infantry fighting vehicles

34 Wildcat helicopters

The dangers of asbestos in army tanks and vehicles

The presence of asbestos containing materials in army equipment is unfortunately well established and military and civilian employees of the Ministry of Defence have sadly been exposed to substantial quantities of asbestos for many years.

Army vehicles such as 4x4s had asbestos brake linings and due to the increased wear and tear on these vehicles, which were often used in difficult terrains, military and civilian personnel would often find themselves changing the brakes more frequently and carrying out routine repairs that led to exposure to asbestos dust.

Royal Marines Exposed to Asbestos in Buildings on Exercise

The risks to Military personnel also extends to buildings used on bases and in exercises. Only recently the Daily Express reported that Royal Marines Commandos may have been exposed to asbestos during exercises in abandoned buildings in Eastern Europe. Royal Marines ordered to ‘sleep in deadly asbestos during major military exercise’ | UK | News | Express.co.uk

Why it is more than a “serious concern”

The use of asbestos has been banned since the 1990’s but the presence of asbestos and the dangers that people have faced for many years including military personnel, employees and the public remain the same.

Mesothelioma can often occur after people are exposed to very low levels asbestos exposure and the risk will increase in proportion to the number of times people are exposed and also the levels that they are exposed to.

If people are regularly using vehicles and in particular if the asbestos containing materials are disturbed, the risk will continue to increase.

Military personnel are already putting themselves at risk when serving for the country and they should not be exposed to asbestos as well.  The Ministry of Defence must do more to update existing equipment and protect the people that protect our country.

If you have developed an asbestos related disease as a result of your exposure to asbestos through the Armed Forces, then please contact HASAG for assistance and advice.  There is an Armed Forces Compensation Scheme that you may be eligible for.