Just the Facts: Navy Asbestos Exposure

Mesothelioma is a rare but very serious form of cancer-known as one of the most aggressive and terminal medical conditions affecting Americans today. Tragically, it is also one of the most preventable. Mesothelioma is caused almost exclusively by exposure to a known toxic carcinogen called asbestos that, despite stringent and overarching government regulation, remains a material used in some specific sectors of the American manufacturing industry today.

There is much information about mesothelioma and its relation to asbestos floating around today; and not all of that information is current, comprehensive or even entirely factual. Also, many of the resources out there are not designed for victims themselves, failing to answer the most pressing questions of those directly affected by the disease or presenting those answers in a convoluted or excessively technical context that is difficult for the average person to understand.

In response to these deficits, we have created this six-part guide with the informational needs of mesothelioma victims and their loved ones in mind. The following articles are designed to be both brief and comprehensive, as well as easily understood and targeted towards the most common inquiries made by victims of mesothelioma and asbestos.

For even more information and free legal guidance to understanding your rights after illegal or negligent asbestos exposure, contact the experienced and dedicated attorneys of Shrader Law and Associates, LLP.


Navy asbestos exposure has been responsible or thousands of veteran deaths over the course of recent decades. While every branch of the U.S. Military made heavy use of asbestos-containing building and mechanical components, none did so at the same volume and rate of occurrence as the navy. Asbestos on navy ships could be found in more than 300 separate components, and the close quarters onboard made exposure particularly concentrated and therefore dangerous.

A Brief History of Navy Asbestos Usage

The combat-heavy years between WWI and the Koran War inflicted an unprecedented demand for the construction of various navy vessels, including auxiliary ships, battleships, cruisers, minesweepers, submarines and destroyers. To meet these demands, navy officials mandated the use of asbestos-made building materials whenever possible-concluding that the low cost, wide and abundant availability and natural properties of durability and heat-resistance made asbestos the ideal component for shipbuilding. As a result, between the 1930s and late 1970s, asbestos was believed to be prevalent on every navy ship and in every navy shipyard around the U.S.

Identifying Those at High Risk for Past Navy Asbestos Exposure

Any veteran serving in the U.S. Navy prior to the 1980s is considered to be at heightened risk for developing mesothelioma cancer and other asbestos-related illnesses. Those who worked on older ships may have been especially at risk for exposure to dangerous asbestos fibers, based on the fact that aged asbestos materials are more likely to disintegrate and release the potentially deadly particles into the air around them. Additionally, some positions aboard navy ships, believed to be very likely to have experienced high levels of past exposure, include:

  • Boliermaker
  • Engine Mechanic
  • Shipfitter or Pipefitter
  • Fire Control Technician
  • Welder
  • Electrician

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