Aircraft carriers have been used by the U.S. Navy since the early 1900s. The carriers were once made with asbestos in excessive amounts, placing numerous people at risk for life-threatening diseases, such as malignant mesothelioma.
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About Aircraft Carriers
The first experimental aircraft carrier was created in 1910 from the deck of the USS Birmingham cruiser. It was created right before World War II, when they played important roles for the military.
After the success of using aircraft carriers during World War II, the Navy began creating different types of vessels that would go on to serve major roles in the Cold War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Different types of aircraft carriers constructed include:
- CVA (attack carrier)
- CVL (light aircraft carrier)
- CVAN (nuclear-powered attack carrier)
- CVS (anti-submarine warfare carrier)
- CVT (training aircraft carriers)
- CVB (large aircraft carrier)
- CV (generic aircraft carrier)
- CVHA (helicopter assault aircraft carrier)
- CVHE (helicopter escort aircraft carrier)
Some of the more popular military aircraft carriers include:
- USS Kitty Hawk
- USS America
- USS John F. Kennedy
- USS Enterprise
- USS Constellation
- USS Ranger
- USS Independence
A total of 10 aircraft supercarriers are still in commission in the United States today.
Aircraft Carriers and Asbestos Use
According to numerous documents, purchase orders, and military repair logs, there was a heavy presence of asbestos not only while building aircraft vessels but also during repair work. This continued throughout the 1960s before the military replaced the toxic mineral.
Gaskets in particular were coated heavily with asbestos. Gaskets were used in the aircraft carriers’ feed pumps, condensate pumps, and tubesheet exchangers.
Further, asbestos was used on vessel floor tiles, casing panels, boilers, insulation, piping, in laundry rooms, in work rags, panels, and more.
Asbestos was a prized set of minerals in aircraft carriers due to its ability to withstand heat and fire while vessels were out to sea. Fires aboard war vessels were common in the past.
The military saw asbestos as not only a strong way to prevent more fires from occurring but also an affordable and easy option; asbestos manufacturers created asbestos-containing in abundance at a relatively low price.
In turn, many people who constructed aircraft vessels, repaired them, and/or worked aboard them have developed toxic illnesses, including malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis, and asbestos-related lung cancer.
People who worked on the repair and maintenance of aircraft carriers are at the highest risk of developing an asbestos-related illness, as airborne asbestos fibers permeated through the air as the workers took parts apart and replaced them.
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Page Reviewed and Edited by Mesothelioma Attorney Paul Danziger
Paul Danziger grew up in Houston, Texas and earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. For over 25 years years he has focused on representing mesothelioma cancer victims and others hurt by asbestos exposure. Paul and his law firm have represented thousands of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, recovering significant compensation for injured clients. Every client is extremely important to Paul and he will take every call from clients who want to speak with him. Paul and his law firm handle mesothelioma cases throughout the United States.