July, 18

US Navy Ships with Asbestos: A Silent Killer on Board

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US Navy Ships with Asbestos – a topic that has been the subject of scrutiny and concern for many years. Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, was once widely used in shipbuilding due to its resistance to heat and fire. However, it is now known that asbestos exposure can lead to serious health problems such as mesothelioma and lung cancer.

The presence of asbestos on US Navy ships has been an ongoing issue for decades. Many veterans who served aboard these ships have developed health issues related to asbestos exposure. It was only after the 1970s that restrictions were put in place on the use of asbestos-containing materials in shipbuilding, but many older ships still contain this hazardous material.

In this article, we will explore the history of US Navy ships with asbestos and their impact on those who served aboard them. We will also look at how government agencies are addressing this issue and what steps are being taken towards ensuring the safety of our servicemen and women. So read on to learn more about this important topic!

US Navy Ships with Asbestos: A Dangerous Legacy

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was commonly used in construction materials for decades. It has great insulation properties and can resist high temperatures, making it an ideal choice for various applications. However, asbestos particles are carcinogenic and can cause serious health problems such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis when inhaled.

The Use of Asbestos on US Navy Ships

The use of asbestos on US Navy ships dates back to the early 20th century when it was widely used as an insulator for pipes, boilers, and electrical wiring. At the time, little was known about the dangers of exposure to asbestos fibers.

Many sailors who worked in areas where asbestos insulation had been installed were exposed to high levels of airborne fibers without any protective gear or warning about its hazardous nature.

Health Risks Associated with Exposure to Asbestos

Exposure to asbestos fibers can lead to the development of several life-threatening diseases that typically take years or even decades after exposure before symptoms appear. The health risks associated with exposure include:

  • Mesothelioma – a rare form of cancer that affects the lining around organs
  • Lung Cancer – a malignant tumor caused by inhaling carcinogens
  • Asbestosis – scarring and inflammation of lungs leading breathlessness
  • Pleural Thickening – thickening around chest wall which leads difficulty breathing

These diseases have no cure yet; thus prevention is critical since they develop over time from long-term exposure.

Removal Efforts by The US Navy

Over time efforts have been made towards removing all traces from ships but many older vessels still harbor dangerous amounts due their age.
However ,the removal process entails huge expenses beyond just removing them from navy ships but also at dry docks.

To control further spread though abatement protocols like encapsulation are encouraged so long there does not exist any imminent threat.
The US Navy has been implementing various measures to ensure the safety of its sailors and prevent further exposure to asbestos. These include:

  • Developing safer insulation materials for use on ships
  • A strict limit on the use of asbestos in all Navy operations
  • Regular inspection and testing for harmful fibers
  • Removal of asbestos-containing material from decommissioned vessels

Legal Compensation

In an era where litigations are common, veterans who served aboard naval ships during their time are eligible for compensation if it is proven that they have developed diseases associated with asbestos fiber inhalation. This is only possible through proper documentation showing a connection between service aboard navy ships and these health issues.


US Navy Ships with Asbestos presents enormous health risks to the personnel working or living onboard. Though efforts have been made towards removal, many older ones still house potentially dangerous amounts which require constant monitoring by trained professionals.
Moreover, there exists no cure yet; thus prevention remains crucial since symptoms usually take decades before they manifest themselves.
Veterans who served aboard such vessels should document any symptoms that may be connected lest it becomes difficult proving their case years later when filing for legal compensations.


What is asbestos and why was it used in US navy ships?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used for centuries in various industries due to its fire-resistant, insulating properties. In the 20th century, asbestos became widely used in shipbuilding and other military applications due to its ability to withstand high temperatures and protect against fires. The US Navy extensively employed asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) on all types of ships, ranging from small patrol boats to large aircraft carriers.

The use of ACMs was particularly prevalent during World War II when the demand for naval vessels spiked dramatically. Asbestos lagging was applied on pipes throughout the ships' compartments as insulation; fireproofing materials containing asbestos were installed around boilers, steam engines, and turbines; ACMs were also utilized on deck flooring tiles; gaskets within pumps valves; rope packing or stuffing boxes which could be found almost everywhere onboard a naval vessel.

Unfortunately, while these products helped keep crew members safe from fires by slowing down flames or preventing them from spreading rapidly through bulkheads & decks during combats at sea – they also exposed them inadvertently to dangerous fibers that can cause serious health problems if ingested or breathed into lungs over time.

How does exposure to asbestos affect human health?

Exposure to airborne asbestos fibers may cause numerous respiratory diseases such as lung cancer(especially mesothelioma), asbestosis (a chronic lung disease), pleural plaques/thickening(could lead eventually after years of exposure). These illnesses are usually not apparent until many years after exposure occurs – making it challenging for individuals who have been exposed but do not yet show any symptoms related directly with their work environment source such as Navy Ships containing ACMS made with Asbestos material earlier before regulation surrounding its use began being implemented more strictly across industries worldwide by governments around 1970-1980's onwards globally including USA where OSHA played significant roles along with EPA to regulate its use and protect workers.

The use of asbestos has been linked to several types of cancer, primarily mesothelioma, a rare but aggressive form that affects the lining of the lungs or abdomen. Asbestos exposure has also been associated with lung cancer and other respiratory diseases. Symptoms may take decades to manifest after initial exposure, which makes it challenging for individuals who have worked on Navy ships containing ACMs made with asbestos material earlier before regulations were implemented.

How did US Navy personnel get exposed to asbestos?

US navy sailors were exposed to ACMs in several ways while serving onboard ships. The primary route was through inhaling airborne fibers released into the air when ACMs degraded over time or during maintenance operations such as cutting or grinding these materials down as part of repair work & upkeep procedures aboard vessels underway – all without adequate protective gear at hand due lack information available regarding toxic hazards posed by long term exposure risks surrounding Acms products , leading many sailors unknowingly being subjected daily basis excess potential hazardous airborne particles even if they had no direct contact directly with raw materials themselves.

ACMs were used extensively throughout naval vessels during their construction from WW2 onwards until around 1980-1990's when regulations began changing worldwide concerning their sale/usage significantly – turning point eventually came around mid-late 1970's where stricter regulation started being enforced by government agencies like EPA(OSHA) leading manufacturers switching away from using this hazardous substance within their formulations over time too following suit making it mandatory for Navy fleets adapt & change accordingly .

What are some common symptoms experienced by people suffering from diseases related to asbestos exposure?

Symptoms related per respirable illnesses induced due prolonged periods spent aboard US Navy Ships contain acme made up entirely (or partially )with Asbestos fibres can vary depending on severity & type(chronic vs acute)of disease contracted but usually involve coughing; shortness breath; chest pain/discomfort; wheezing; weight loss, fatigue, and fever in some cases. The symptoms may take years or even decades to manifest after initial exposure, making it challenging to link them directly back to asbestos exposure without specific medical tests results from specialized doctors familiar with these types of diseases linked intrinsically reported widely within many USN communities over the years.

Can people still be exposed to asbestos on US Navy ships today?

No. Today's naval vessels are constructed without ACMs made from Asbestos fibres due stricter regulations enforced by government agencies (like OSHA & EPA), which prohibit their use in shipbuilding or any other type of industry that could expose workers needlessly – including military operations like those conducted onboard navy warships around the world across various oceans.

However, veterans who served onboard older navy vessels during WW2 until late 1980-1990's when new regulations were put into effect worldwide surrounding toxic substance usage limits & precautions taken into consideration for all industrial purposes where such materials would be present – have a higher risk of developing illnesses related directly attributable towards this long term exposure potentially impacting health outcomes later down line regardless of active service status now being retired/veterans today.

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