As with most vessels constructed prior to the late 1970s to the mid-1980s, submarines were made with numerous asbestos-containing products. Consequently, many veterans developed life-threatening diseases, such as mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer.
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Submarines are 362-foot vessels with the capability of submerging underwater, where they carry out independent operations. They are powerful vessels that can submerge over 1,600 underwater.
Prior to World War I, submarines were primarily used by the military for anti-surface ship warfare. This continued when World War I started, which made the submarine the most effective attack vessels.
Submarines sunk the RMS Lusitania during this time, and the incident is often referred to as the reason the U.S. entered into the war.
Submarines continued to play an important role during World War II. By using submarines during the way, the U.S. Navy destroyed over 30 percent of the Japanese Navy’s vessels, including a battleship, cruisers, and aircraft carriers.
A total of 314 submarines were used during World War II by the U.S. Navy. At least 52 of these submarines were lost during the war, yet the powerful vessels were also responsible for sinking a total of 1,560 enemy ships.
Submarines and Asbestos
According to military documents and memos, asbestos was used extensively when constructing and repairing submarines.
Asbestos was used in military vessels starting in the 1920s, up until the late 1970s, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed strict regulations on its use.
The U.S. military chose to use asbestos and asbestos-containing products due to its ease of use, resistance to high temperatures and fires, and its affordability.
Unfortunately, workers were exposed to harmful minerals on a daily basis. Many people had to work in small spaces with poor ventilation aboard submarines, while inhaling asbestos microscopic, odorless asbestos fibers.
Chrysotile asbestos and amosite asbestos were the main types used while constructing and repairing submarines. Asbestos was found in ceilings, pipes, flooring, gaskets, packing supplies, in torpedo rooms, and more.
Documentation of Asbestos Use in Submarines
Many sales orders, repair logs, documents, memos, and letters on file with the U.S. military confirms that asbestos-containing products were purchased and used on submarines.
Two submarines, in particular, the USS Croaker and the USS Triton, were found to have excessive amounts of asbestos. Almost all of the other submarines created prior to the late 1970s were found to have unsafe levels of asbestos.
Veterans Are at a Heightened Risk of Mesothelioma
Today’s veterans who worked on or aboard submarines built prior to the late 1970s are at the highest risk of developing an asbestos-related illness. This includes people who worked at the shipyard, those who repaired submarines and replaced submarine parts, insulation workers, electricians, painters, and crew workers aboard submarines.
Anyone who worked in and around submarines are at risk of developing diseases such as malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis, and asbestos-related lung cancer. It’s imperative to get regular medical checkups if you worked aboard submarines and/or helped repair or construct them.
Even people who didn’t work at shipyards or on submarines are risk, such as spouses and children of Navy veterans.
Many veterans went home with asbestos fibers all over their clothes, in their hair, and on their skin. This, in turn, placed people in the family home at risk of developing asbestos illnesses from second-hand exposure.
Additional Help and Resources for People Who Worked Aboard Submarines
Remember to fill out our form to get your free Financial Compensation Packet, with information on experienced asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers in your area. Keep in mind that if you have mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for considerable compensation. For additional assistance or questions, contact us at 800-793-4540.
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.