U.S. Navy & Veterans

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Asbestos Use on Navy Ships

Literally tons of asbestos insulating materials were used on all classes of U.S. Navy vessels–ranging from asbestos pads, felt and cloth to asbestos pipe covering and cement to asbestos gaskets and packing. Until the 1980s, a Navy ship’s machinery and piping was covered with asbestos insulation from stem to stern.

Throughout the life of the ship, these asbestos materials would be removed and replaced dozens or hundreds of times. Each time, huge numbers of toxic asbestos fibers would be released into the surrounding air.

Construction, Repair & Overhaul

Shipyard workers involved in the construction, repair, and overhaul of Navy ships were exposed to the asbestos dust released from these materials. Likewise, Navy seamen of all ranks were exposed to the asbestos dust as they operated and maintained these vessels at sea and in port. These ships were their jobsites as well as places they called home while at sea and on duty.

U.S. Veterans at High Risk of Mesothelioma

U.S. Navy Veterans are at a particularly high risk of contracting mesothelioma because they served on ships that had literally tons of asbestos insulating products on them. Veterans who have an asbestos-related condition need to be aware of their rights to file a lawsuit and a claim with the Veterans Administration (VA) related to their service related injury.

Learn More about U.S. Navy & Veterans’ Exposure to Asbestos

The articles in this section of our Mesothelioma Knowledge Center are designed to help you learn more about the use of asbestos on ships and how shipyard workers and naval seamen were exposed to asbestos: