Asbestos on Ships
Asbestos production increased following World War II largely because manufacturers used large amounts of asbestos in building American ships. Asbestos on ships and in shipyards can be found in bulkhead systems, insulation, ceiling tiles, and fire-resistant sheets. Even after the Maritime Administration passed a regulation to reduce the use of asbestos on ships in 1973, manufacturers continued to use it, particularly in insulation and lagging cloth, an insulating material used to cover pipes, boilers, and other heavy equipment.
How Veterans Were Exposed to Asbestos on Ships
Navy veterans were almost certainly exposed to asbestos on ships, regardless of their job classification. Nearly every section of a ship where sailors and officers worked, ate, slept and spent time contained asbestos. Boiler and engine room workers were likely at the greatest risk for occupational exposure to asbestos due to the high concentration of asbestos products used in those rooms. The dangers of this setting for exposure to asbestos on ships were further compounded by poor ventilation and close quarters.
The hazard posed by military asbestos, including asbestos in the Navy aboard ships or in other equipment and facilities, is greatest when asbestos-containing material is damaged or removed. Parts in older ships turn brittle over time, causing a cloud of airborne asbestos fibers to fill the vessel. This makes the task of removing asbestos on ships expensive and even, in some cases, impossible.
As a consequence of such exposure to asbestos on ships, many veterans have developed mesothelioma and asbestos diseases such as asbestosis.
Lawsuits from Asbestos on Ships
Navy veterans who were injured by asbestos on ships during their service have the right to sue the manufacturers that produced and sold parts made with asbestos to the Navy. Claims involving veterans and mesothelioma linked to asbestos on ships are easily verifiable. Detailed records that document the use of asbestos on ships by the Navy exist. These records are often used in the investigations of mesothelioma lawsuits.
If you or a loved one has a history of asbestos exposure on naval ships or around naval shipyards and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, call Sokolove Law today. An experienced mesothelioma attorney can advise you on the options available to you.