navy veterans asbestos exposure

U.S. Navy Veterans Asbestos Exposure & Mesothelioma

The U.S. Navy remains one of the top historical consumers of asbestos in the world. Every Naval ship constructed from the 1930s to the 1970s used asbestos extensively, bar none. From that point until the 1990s, Naval vessels continued to legally utilize asbestos-containing materials in limited capacity. Even now, U.S. Naval ships pose tremendous risk to Navy veterans asbestos exposure to seaman, mechanics, engineers and all manner of personnel.

As an example of production volume, shipyards in Hampton Roads, Virginia produced new ships at a rate of three per day. In total, experts estimate that 25 million tons of the material were used, exposing 4.5 million workers. Personnel stationed on the vessels faced exposure risks in turn. Those who worked near the boiler rooms and engine rooms had the highest risk of exposure, as did mechanics and repair personnel. Use of legacy ships in the U.S. Naval fleet continue to pose risks to all occupants, mechanics and repair workers.

U.S. Navy Veterans Asbestos Exposure & Mesothelioma Risk


In 1944 during World War II, U.S. shipbuilding for Naval purposes consumed asbestos at unprecedented rates. Shipbuilders used multiple tons of the material per ship as batts insulation, fireproofing material for structural steel and other various products, including gaskets and insulation for wiring or pipes.

Consequences of Navy Veterans Asbestos Exposure


Asbestos exposure can lead to very serious, life-threatening health conditions. Physicians consider asbestos related lung cancer and mesothelioma among the worst. These conditions can take 15 to 40 years or more from the time of exposure to emergence of noticeable symptoms.

Navy Asbestos-Related Diseases


  • Mesothelioma
  • Asbestosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Bronchus cancer
  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Larynx cancer
  • Pleural effusion
  • Pleural plaques
  • Pharynx cancer
  • Urogenital cancers (except prostate)

Secondary Risks Families Face with U.S. Navy Veterans Asbestos Exposure


U.S. Navy personnel and ship builders may have potentially exposed their family members to asbestos fibers as they brought home uniforms and personal belongings from their tour of duty. At high enough exposure levels, family members face the same health risks as primary exposure victims. These secondary exposure risks include lung cancer, mesothelioma and other fatal cancers.

Navy Jobs and Assignments with High Risk of Asbestos Exposure


  • Aviation Fire Control Technician (AQ)
  • Boilermaker (BR)
  • Boilerman (BT)
  • Fireman (F)
  • Fire Controlman (FC)
  • Pipefitter (FP)
  • Fire Control Technician (FT)
  • Fire Control Technician (Gun Fire Control)(FTG)
  • Hull Maintenance Technician (HT)
  • Instrumentman (IM)
  • Shipfitter (Pipefitter)(SFP)
  • Sonarman (SO)
  • Soundman (SoM)
  • Sonar Technician (ST) (After 1948)
  • Sonar Technician (Surface) (STG)
  • Sonar Technician (Submarine)(STS)
  • Utilitiesman (UT)
  • Water Tender (WT)
  • Navy Asbestos Exposure by Other Occupation
  • Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (AB)
  • Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Launch & Recovery)(ABE)
  • Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Aircraft Handler)(ABH)
  • Aviation Machinist’s Mate (Jet Engine Mechanic)
  • Aviation Machinist’s Mate (Reciprocating Engine Mechanic)(ADR)
  • Aviation Electrician’s Mate (AE) (After 1948)
  • Aviation Metalsmith (AM)(Before 1948)
  • Aviation Structural Mechanic (AM)(After 1948)
  • Aviation Structural Mechanic (Safety Equipment)(AME)
  • Aviation Structural Mechanic (Hydraulics)(AMH)
  • Aviation Structural Mechanic (Structures)(AMS)
  • Aviation Radioman (ARM)
  • Aviation Support Equipment Technician (AS)(After 1965)
  • Aviation Electronics Technician (AT)
  • Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Operator (AW)
  • Builder (BU)
  • Construction Driver (CD)
  • Construction Electrician’s Mate (CE)
  • Constructionman (CN)
  • Electrician’s Mate (EM)
  • Engineman (EN)
  • Electronics Technician (ET)
  • Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical)(GSM)
  • Interior Communications Electrician (IC)
  • Molder (ML, MI)
  • Machinist’s Mate (MM)
  • Motor Machinist’s Mate (MoMM)
  • Missile Technician (MT)
  • Painter (Ptr)
  • Steelworker (SW)
  • Torpedoman’s Mate (TM)

Navy Locations and Operations Where Asbestos Exposure May Have Occurred


  • California Navy Shipyard
  • San Diego Naval Shipyard
  • Bender Shipbuilding
  • Washington Navy Yard
  • Pensacola Naval Air Stations
  • Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
  • Ingalls Shipbuilding
  • Brooklyn Navy Yard
  • Albina Shipyard
  • Bethlehem Steel Shipyard
  • Norfolk Naval Shipyard
  • Houston Shipyards
  • Todd Shipyards
  • Pearl Harbor Naval Yard
  • ADDSCO Shipyard
  • Penn Shipbuilding
  • Willamette Shipyard
  • Newport Naval Yard
  • Swan Island Shipyard

Asbestos Claims and Compensation for Navy Mesothelioma and Asbestos Cancer Victims


Navy veterans asbestos exposure personnel who have developed a related condition or disability may be eligible for healthcare compensation through the VA system. They may also be entitled to compensation from product manufacturers and vessel construction firms responsible for the presence of asbestos on Naval ships.

If you or a family member once served in the Navy and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related cancer, contact Mesowatch today. You will receive immediate assistance and a free, confidential case evaluation from a nationwide team of leading mesothelioma attorneys. Your attorney team will help you quickly pursue the maximum possible compensation from all liable parties for your losses.