At the California Navy Shipyard and others in the state, asbestos was used for decades as insulation and fireproofing for ships. Asbestos was lightweight and strongly resistant to fire, so it was required to be used in the US military. It was particularly prevalent during WWII and continued until the 1970s when the dangers of asbestos became better known. (mesotheliomaveterans.org)
The physical and chemical properties of asbestos made it perfect for decades to make military ships and submarines. The toxic substance is highly corrosion-resistant as well as a fire retardant, so it was believed for decades to be the ideal substance to make ships. Asbestos was used at the California Shipyard for insulation of incinerators, steam pipes, hot water pipes, and boilers. It also was used often in parts of ships that were poorly ventilated so that workers were inhaling much higher amounts of asbestos, even if they were not working with asbestos directly in their jobs.
Asbestos Use At California Navy Shipyard
Unfortunately, many military members who worked on ships and submarines were exposed to asbestos during their service, as well as shipyard workers at the California Navy Shipyard.
Exposure to asbestos at the California Navy Shipyard did not cause asbestosis or mesothelioma right away. It was not until decades later that former shipyard workers started to complain of a dry cough, chest pains, wheezing and shortness of breath. For some former California Navy Shipyard workers, they were eventually diagnosed with asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma. Shipyard workers who smoked were at higher risk of developing mesothelioma, as well.
If you worked at the California Shipyard and think that you were exposed to asbestos, you should research the shipyard to determine if they used asbestos at the yard at the time of your employment. Or, you can contact a mesothelioma attorney in your area and they can check for you.
California Naval Shipyard Workers At High Risk for Mesothelioma
Shipyard workers at California Shipyard and others around the country were at high risk for asbestos-related diseases, especially asbestos insulators. While only about one out of 500 had ‘asbestos insulator’ in their job description, those that did were at extremely high risk of developing asbestosis or mesothelioma.
Other jobs at California Shipyard that required some level of exposure to asbestos were:
- Ship fitters
All of these shipyard workers had to use asbestos-containing products in their jobs at the shipyard.
It is estimated that 197 million pounds of asbestos were used by the entire shipyard industry by the early 1930s. That number increased to 633 million pounds by 1937. The demand for asbestos became higher in the shipbuilding business during WWII, so much so that miners could not produce enough of the material.
Sadly, thousands of workers at the California Shipyard and dozens of others were exposed unknowingly to high levels of toxic asbestos. Decades later, some former workers developed mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer. If that has happened to you, there are legal options.
If you or a loved one worked at the California Shipyard, you or they may have been exposed to asbestos that led to mesothelioma, asbestosis, or another asbestos-related health problem. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and worked at the California Shipyard, please consult with a licensed mesothelioma attorney today.
Your attorney can review your employment history and medical files and determine if you have a strong case. In most cases, the companies that provided the asbestos-containing materials to the shipyard can be found. If so, you may be able to obtain compensation for your mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease.