Navy Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos Exposure in the Navy

Due to the widespread use of asbestos in ships and shipyards, asbestos exposure was a concern for the navy. The Navy used asbestos for its heat and salt corrosion resistant properties and as a result, Navy veterans faced the risk of asbestos exposure. Personnel who performed maintenance tasks on pipes, equipment, and pumps were especially at risk.

Navy Occupations with Highest Exposure Risk

Navy personnel who worked in maintenance and repair, as well as asbestos insulation, often faced the greatest risk of asbestos exposure. Jobs that were at a high risk were Boatswain’s Mates, Boiler Technicians, Damage Control Workers, Electrician’s Mates, Fire Control Technicians, Gunner’s Mates, Hull Maintenance Technicians, Laggers, Machinist’s Mates, Metalsmiths, Pipefitters, Water Tenders, and Welders. Additionally, sailors commonly wore asbestos-protective gear, which also posed a risk of asbestos exposure.

Asbestos Products

Various asbestos products used in the Navy released toxic fibers into the vessels. Some of these products included adhesives, bedding compounds, block insulation, boiler insulation, cables, deck covering materials, gaskets, packing materials, paneling, paint, pipe insulation, pumps, spray-on insulation, textiles, and valves. The poor ventilation in tight quarters allowed asbestos fibers to accumulate on the ship, causing exposure to personnel who didn’t work with asbestos firsthand.

Naval Vessels with High Asbestos Exposure Risk

Several types of naval vessels had a high asbestos exposure risk. Aircraft carriers, auxiliary ships, cruisers, destroyers, minesweepers, and submarines all used asbestos in various applications. For instance, asbestos was found in gaskets, insulation, cloth, pipes, boilers, and fire-resistant materials, making exposure a significant concern for sailors serving on these vessels.

Secondary Asbestos Exposure

Secondary asbestos exposure was a hidden danger for the families of Navy veterans. Spouses and children developed asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma from contact with contaminated clothing when doing laundry. Moreover, those residing in military housing were also exposed to asbestos building materials used in constructing houses and communal quarters.

Mesothelioma in the Navy

Navy veterans are affected by mesothelioma, a deadly rare and aggressive form of cancer, due to their high levels of asbestos exposure. Nearly 30% of mesothelioma lawsuits involve individuals exposed through military service or shipyard work. In addition to mesothelioma, Navy veterans have been diagnosed with other asbestos-related diseases, including lung cancer and asbestosis.

In conclusion, Navy veterans faced the hidden dangers of asbestos exposure which had consequences for both veterans and their families. This emphasizes the importance of awareness and medical monitoring for those at risk.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, please call the Halpern Law Firm at (800) 505-6000 or fill out our form for legal help. Call today for a free case evaluation and to get more information. We have over 30 years of experience and have won over $100 million for our clients.


Written By Jeff Nelson

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