U.S. Navy or Merchant Marines
From the 1920s until the mid-1970s, thousands of ships used by the U.S. Navy and Merchant Marines were constructed with parts or materials containing asbestos. Thousands of U.S. sailors may have been exposed to asbestos as a result of their military service, placing them at risk of a number of asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.
Asbestos was widely used onboard naval vessels to insulate ship components from heat. Asbestos materials could be found in ship parts such as deck coverings, engine room components, pipe fitting and coverings, gaskets, brakes and clutches.
Although asbestos could be found on smaller ships (such as dredges, ferries, towboats and tugboats) larger vessels used by the Navy or Merchant Marines (including destroyers, aircraft carriers, battleships, cargo ships, passenger ships and troop carriers, tankers, cruisers, submarines) sometimes contained as much as 1,000 tons of asbestos materials.
Shipyard workers who built or repaired vessels used by the Navy or Merchant Marines could also be exposed to asbestos. Sailors who worked in the shipyards during World War II were almost as likely to die from mesothelioma as they were to die in combat.
A study entitled “Asbestos and Ship-Building: Fatal Consequences,” published in the Ulster Medical Society Journal in 2008, showed that shipyard workers carried a mortality rate from asbestosis , caused by an exposure to asbestos 16 times greater than the average of other occupations
Although the federal government has been aware of the health risks from asbestos exposure since at least 1922 and passed strict safety standards to protect sailors and shipyard workers, the Navy failed to enforce these regulations until the 1970s. As a result, millions of veterans of WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and other conflicts may have been placed at risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses.
Because it may take decades after exposure to asbestos for an individual to develop symptoms of an asbestos disease, many naval veterans may only recently have only recently received a diagnosis of mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer or other conditions, even though their exposure to asbestos occurred many years ago.
If you served in the U.S. Navy or Merchant Marines and believe you were exposed to asbestos, contact the law office of Hissey Kientz, LLP to learn more about your legal rights. You can reach us by calling toll-free at (866) 275-4454, or by filling out the free case evaluation form to the right of this page.
Dozens of shipyards across the United States have documented incidents of asbestos exposure leading to mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. Some of the more notable shipyards include:
|American Bridge Shipyard||Orange, Texas|
|American Ship Building Company||Loraine, Ohio|
|Barbours Cut Docks||LaPorte, Texas|
|Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards, Inc||Baltimore, Maryland|
|California Shipbuilding Corporation||Los Angeles California|
|Delta Shipbuilding Company||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Galveston Docks||Galveston, Texas|
|J. A. Jones Construction Company||Brunswick, Georgia and Panama City, Florida|
|Kaiser Shipyards||Vancouver, Washington and Richmond, California|
|Marinship Corporation||Sausalito, California|
|New England Shipbuilding Company||South Portland, Maine|
|North Carolina Shipbuilding Company||Wilmington, North Carolina|
|Oregon Shipbuilding Company||Portland Oregon|
|Permanente Metals Corporation, #1 & #2 Yard||Richmond, California|
|Southeastern Shipbuilding Corporation||Savannah, Georgia|
|St. John’s River Shipbuilding Company||Jacksonville, Florida|
|Todd Houston Shipbuilding Corporation||Houston and Galveston, Texas; Seattle Washington; San Francisco and Los Angeles, California; New Orleans Louisiana; Providence, Rhode Island; Brooklyn, New York|
|Walsh-Kaiser Company, Inc.||Providence Rhode Island|