Asbestos on US Navy Ships

During much of the 1900s, particularly from the 1930s to the 1980s, asbestos was widely used on Navy ships. Over 300 asbestos-containing materials were used on US Navy ships during these years. Because of this, Navy veterans as well as many people who worked on the ships were exposed to asbestos and later developed the cancer mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that is caused by inhaling asbestos, a naturally occurring silicate material.

The Navy used asbestos-containing materials because they are heat resistant, which is beneficial for ships and these materials were very affordable. Asbestos was used as an insulator and a building material as well as a fire proofer. Other areas that contained asbestos on US Navy ships included sleeping quarters, navigation rooms, engine rooms, boiler rooms, mess halls and more.

Boilers were a type of equipment on Navy ships that contained asbestos. Boilers are machines that are used on ships that power the ship. They produce high-temperature and high-pressure steam. Before 1973, boilers were insulated with 15 percent asbestos, therefore boilermakers were exposed to the asbestos, putting them at risk for developing mesothelioma.

Another type of equipment that contained asbestos were the pumps on the ships. Asbestos was used in the pumps and these pumps powered many things on the ships. Most workers on the ships did not wear protective gear when handling the asbestos-containing materials.

Pipe insulation also contained asbestos. Asbestos insulated wrapping surrounded the pipes on the ships. The felt layer of the wrapping usually had about 5 to 10 percent asbestos. These pipes went through many areas of the ship, exposing many people on the ships at different times. Asbestos dust was released into the air when dry asbestos was mixed with water to create new insulation. This was done when there was damage to the pipe coatings.

Valves on US Navy ships also contained asbestos. Asbestos was used in the insulation of the valves because of its heat resistant capabilities. Workers were exposed to asbestos when they worked on these valves in any capacity, as it was on the outside surface of the valves. Since the valves needed to be taken apart quite frequently, asbestos fibers were frequently being released into the air.

Some other things that contained asbestos on US Navy ships included gaskets, cables, tubes, capacitors, adhesives and much more.

If you or a loved one is a US Navy Veteran or worked on a US Navy ship and have developed the cancer mesothelioma, you deserve compensation. Here at the Halpern Law Firm, we seek justice for mesothelioma victims in Pennsylvania, and we are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. We have over 30 years of experience and have won over $100 million for our clients. Call 800-505-6000 today for a free case evaluation.


Written By Sadie Gold

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