Located in Washington State, Tacoma Boat and Drydock was a ship maintenance and construction facility. Prior to the late 1970s, Tacoma Drydock used excessive amounts of asbestos, leading to numerous workers developing life-threatening asbestos-related illnesses.
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Tacoma Drydocks History
Little information exists on the history of Tacoma Drydocks. However, similar to almost all other shipyards in the past, it’s well-known that asbestos use was expansive at the drydock prior to its closing.
The company created numerous ships before shutting down before World War I. After it closed, the company was sold to Todd Shipyards. Todd Shipyards went on to employee over 30,000 workers. Most of these people were exposed on a daily basis to asbestos while working as crew members, maintenance workers, construction workers, painters, welders, electricians, and more.
After World War II ended, Todd Shipyards sold the company to the Navy. It eventually went on to become the Port of Tacoma. Today, however the site is part of a redevelopment for the Port Commencement Bay Industrial Development District.
According to internal documents pertaining to Tacoma Drydocks, asbestos was used in the following:
- Asbestos cement
- Packing materials
- Fireproofing sprays
- Boiler rooms
- Electrical fittings
- Floor paneling
- Insulation for steam pipes
- Insulation for boilers
Asbestos Use at Tacoma Drydocks
During its peak operation, Tacoma Drydocks, as mentioned earlier, used excessive amounts of asbestos. Most shipyards did the same thing before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed strict regulations on asbestos use in 1979.
Before the EPA’s regulations, however, Tacoma Drydocks and a myriad of other shipyards relied on asbestos because of its cheap cost, its resistance to high heat and fire, and its ability to mix well with other ingredients.
Many types of workers at Tacoma Drydocks are at risk of developing a life-threatening illness. Spouses and children of these workers are also at risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses via second-hand exposure. Most shipyards in the past didn’t require workers to wear protective gear, nor did they supply the gear.
Some shipyards added showers to the job site, but there were a plethora of complaints from workers that there were only a few showers for hundreds of workers to use. Many workers didn’t want to wait two hours to take a shower after a long work day. Instead they returned home with asbestos-filled clothing and asbestos fibers in their hair and on their skin.
If you worked at Tacoma Drydocks, it’s extremely important to get regular medical checkups and keep all of your appointments. Tell your physician you may be have been exposed to asbestos. If you have a spouse to children that lived in the same home as you while you worked at Tacoma Drydocks, each family member should also have regular medical checkups and inform their physicians they may have been exposed to secondhand asbestos.
Additional Help and Resources
If you’ve been injured by mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, keep in mind that there is a good chance that you’ll qualify for considerable compensation. Remember to fill out our from to get your free Financial Compensation Packet, with information on asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers in your area. If you have questions or need additional assistance, contact us at 800-793-4540.