The Risk of Mesothelioma in Our Shipyards

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The shipbuilding occupation has exposed thousands of its workers to the hazards of asbestos. These workers were employed in the areas of construction, repair and design of military and commercial ships. Prior to 1975, asbestos was used in the shipbuilding industry as an insulator of pipes, and electrical equipment. The following are shipyards throughout the United States where thousands of people have been exposed to the hazards of asbestos.  If you a loved one has worked at any of the following shipyards you may be at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease. Exposure to asbestos can cause severe respiratory problems along with a rare cancer known as Mesothelioma.

Avondale Shipyard
This shipyard is located in Avondale, Louisiana. Created in 1938, the Avondale Shipyard is one of the largest shipbuilders in the United States. It employs over 5500 hundred people. Avondale has built both military and commercial ships. For the US Navy, it has built 27 destroyer escorts and it continues to build Navy surface ships. Avondale Industries received a huge contract in 1997 to build 125,000 Dead Weight Tons crude oil carriers. Avondale has become one of the nation’s premier shipbuilders. Even though this company has kept thousands of people employed, people have been exposed to the danger of asbestos exposure.

Brooklyn Navy Yard
Established in the 1700’s, this shipyard is known for the launch of the first steam warship, The Fulton, and a steam frigate, the Niagara. After the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, the Brooklyn Navy Yard underwent hard times. However, by the 1930’s its production picked up and it became one of the most successful shipyards in the United States. It built the North Carolina in 1937 and the Iowa in 1942. This shipyard was home base for British ally ships during WWII. This shipyard focused on repairs, conversions, and building oil and coal barges. Unfortunately, a fire caused this shipyard to close in 1966. This shipyard employed thousands of people, many of whom have a risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.

San Diego Naval Shipyard
This shipyard covers approximately 5000 acres. It was taken over in 1917 by the United States Army, after the U.S. joined the allied forces in WWI. Eventually, this shipyard was taken over by the Navy and became the main port for the Pacific Fleet. This shipyard is home to the following: Commander Third Fleet, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Commanders Carrier One and Seven, Commander Naval Air Force and the Commanders Cruiser Destroyer Groups One and Five. A Navy Submarine Facility was formed in 1963 but in 1995, the Navy had to down-size causing many command units to be decommissioned. Many of the men and women employed throughout the years at this shipyard have been exposed to the hazards of asbestos.

Pearl Harbor Shipyard
This shipyard extends over 308 acres on the southern shore of Oahu, Hawaii. This shipyard employs both civilian and military personnel. In 1908, an act was passed that claimed Pearl Harbor as a Hawaii territory. Most people know Pearl Harbor as the shipyard used to protect the western United States during the war. It was attacked by the Japanese on December 7, 1941 and entered the United States into WWII. With almost 5000 workers, this shipyard has exposed many people to the hazards of asbestos.


Long Beach Naval Shipyard
This shipyard can be found 23 miles south of Los Angeles International Airport. It was used in the 1940s for repairing destroyers and cruisers, along with cargo ships. After several names changes, it became the Long Beach Naval Shipyard in 1948. Before it closed in 1997, this shipyard was responsible for repairing nuclear and non-nuclear ships along with the rigging, electronic, woodworking, sandblasting and sheetmetal industries, to name a few.
This shipyard employed both military and civilian personnel. Almost 4,000 people were employed at the Long Beach Shipyard. Many of these people were exposed to the hazard of asbestos exposure.

Philadelphia Naval Shipyard
This shipyard is one of the oldest in the U.S. Originally established in 1801, this shipyard moved to where the Deleware and Schuylkill rivers merge together in 1876. This shipyard was used extensively during the Civil War and again during WWI. However, only a year after completing the USS Kennedy, the shipyard closed in 1996. Many of the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard employees were exposed to asbestos and its hazards.

Todd Shipyards
Todd Shipyards is one of the largest shipyard franchises in the world. During WWII, the shipyard received a grant from the U.S. Maritime Commission. This grant helped the Todd shipyard to become one of the biggest shipyards used during the war.  This Tacoma shipyard employed almost 30,000 people who worked hard during times of war to produce ships for our military forces. Unfortunately, these loyal people who worked so hard, were also exposed to the hazards of asbestos.

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