Navy Shipyards | Shrader & Associates L.L.P.
Get in Touch Today

Navy Shipyards

Over A Billion Recovered Nationwide

Asbestos Exposure in Navy Shipyards

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has noted that during World War II, several million civilian workers in Navy shipyards, or yard birds as they were commonly called, were exposed to chrysotile, amosite and crocidolite products that were used extensively in military ship construction. In fact, specifications for naval ships indicate that nearly 300 different asbestos-containing products were used.

Amosite Pipe Insulation one of the Most Widely Used Products in Navy Ships

One of the most common uses was pipe insulation that contained amosite asbestos. Its popularity was due to its lighter weight and higher heat capacity.

In a report titled U.S. Shipyards; A History of Massive Exposure and Disease, James Fite of the White Lung Association explained that amosite insulation weighs approximately 14 pounds per cubic foot as compared with magnesia, which weighs 16 pounds per cubic foot. Amosite’s temperature limit is 750 degrees F, far surpassing the 500 degree F temperature limit of magnesia.

The superiority of amosite led to the production of amosite felt in 1934 and amosite pipe covering in 1935. Most naval vessels used asbestos containing block and felt pipe covering in new construction until 1974.

Asbestos-Containing Products were Used Throughout a Ship’s Construction

The various uses the Navy found for asbestos-containing products aboard ship made shipyard workers vulnerable to exposure during most of the construction process. Some of the places asbestos was used included as a liner beneath decks and in boilers and turbines, in piping system gaskets and packing, in the body of resistors used in electronic equipment, and in the electronic cabling used in the galley ranges.

The type of exposure that led to inhalation of asbestos fibers resulted from the need to cut the asbestos insulation sheets into custom-sized pieces that correctly fit the specific use. After the piece had been sized and cut, it would then be polished to get a smooth finish. Both of these process released asbestos fibers into the air where they were readily breathed in by workers because, at that time, these workers were not required to wear protective face masks that prevented inhalation of toxic substances. In fact, since the health risks associated with asbestos exposure were not widely known, these workers did not wear protective clothing of any kind.

Asbestos Exposure wasn’t Limited to Construction

Workers who performed routine maintenance on Navy vessels were also extremely susceptible to asbestos exposure. One very common repair was the replacement of worn out valves and flanges. The workmen would have to remove the cloth or cement insulation covering these items, which initially released asbestos into the air.

If a valve needed replacement, the asbestos-containing packing would be removed by chipping and pulling at it. This caused packing material to fly into the air and fall on the floor around the workers and on their unprotected clothing.

When a flange was replaced, the old gasket that prevented the flange from leaking was removed, and a new gasket was created by taking a hammer and hitting the gasket sheet to remove it. This action made pieces of the asbestos-containing gasket material become airborne, and these pieces eventually fell on and around these workers, causing them to inhale the asbestos fibers.

Contact Us Today

Request a Free Consultation

    Mesothelioma Lawsuit
    Mesothelioma Lawsuit

    We Take Our Clients’ Cases Personal

    Helping Victims of Mesothelioma Is Why We Do What We Do

    Your firm has made this stressful process easy and comfortable for me.

    “In this difficult time for me, everyone in your office has been helpful and supportive in ensuring that not only are our objectives with my case met but also that my personal needs are accommodated.”
    - Stephen

    I couldn’t have done it without you.

    “My case was complex, but you untangled the details of my asbestos exposure so that they were clear in court.”
    - Sam

    The professionals at Shrader & Associates did the work, hassle free, and ensured I was able to leave a legacy for my family.

    “I hesitated to file suit because I thought going to trial would be a hassle. The professionals at Shrader & Associates did the work, hassle-free, and ensured I was able to leave a legacy for my family ...”
    - Raymond

    Your team stood by me throughout the entire process.

    “The future looks a bit brighter for my family now.”
    - Frank

    Thanks to you, the grief of my loss would have been almost unbearable otherwise.

    “The wonderful things you have done for us, the things you have made possible for my family, the doors you have opened – I will always be grateful.”
    - Brian

    Experience You Can Count On

    Our Awards & Accolades

    Navy Shipyards
    Navy Shipyards
    Navy Shipyards
    Navy Shipyards
    Navy Shipyards
    Navy Shipyards
    Navy Shipyards
    Navy Shipyards
    Navy Shipyards
    Navy Shipyards
    Navy Shipyards
    Navy Shipyards
    Navy Shipyards
    Navy Shipyards
    Navy Shipyards
    Navy Shipyards

    The Right Team Makes a Difference

    Mesothelioma cases require technical knowledge and an understanding of complex laws. An attorney with experience trying these claims and substantial resources to leverage on your behalf is your best bet to having a strong case. We are nationally recognized for providing quality representation to mesothelioma patients and their families.

    Meet Our Attorney

    Choosing the Right Law Firm is an Important & Personal Decision

    Why Shrader & Associates?


    Our skilled approach to the practice of law has resulted in top ratings & awards from renowned legal organizations.


    Our attorneys have been invited into some of the most prestigious and recognized professional associations in the U.S.


    We’ve been featured on local and national news programs for our legal knowledge and winning results.


    To date, we’ve secured countless million-dollar results for clients located throughout the country.