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Jobs on Navy Ships that Put Veterans at Risk of Mesothelioma

Veterans who worked on Navy ships often worked directly or indirectly with asbestos and are at a greater risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

Although there are many different jobs that exposed Navy veterans to asbestos, these seven jobs on Navy ships put veterans at a very high risk of developing mesothelioma:

  1. Boilermen. Boilermen, also referred to as boiler tenders, boilermakers, boiler technicians and boiler repairmen, operated, repaired and maintained the powerful steam boilers that propelled US Navy vessels. These men and women were exposed to the dangerous fibers through the widespread use of asbestos in boiler rooms in valves and valves on ships.
  2. Engine Mechanic. Engine mechanics were generally responsible for the operation, maintenance and upkeep of numerous types of equipment, such as engines and turbines, anchor equipment and pumps. This equipment used asbestos – and released deadly fibers when repairs had to be made.
  3. Maintenance Mechanic. Maintenance mechanics repaired a wide range of machinery aboard ships, including pumps and valves. Their duties generally required them to handle and remove asbestos gaskets, and packing from equipment. Once asbestos is broken, it releases fibers that, when inhaled, cause those who breathe the fibers to have a greater chance of developing mesothelioma.
  4. Shipfitter / Pipefitter / Steamfitter. Shipfitters, pipefitters and steamfitters, maintaining the structural integrity of the hull and the deck, connect pipes to equipment and help repair machinery. Shipfitters’ duties often included cutting, shaping and replacing asbestos packing and gaskets. Pipefitters and steamfitters also installed and repaired pipe systems for propulsion, electric power and temperature control. They also often handled gaskets, seals and insulation laced with asbestos.
  5. Hull Technician. Hull technicians are responsible for numerous tasks, including:
  • installing, maintaining and repairing valves, piping, plumbing system fittings and fixtures
  • pipe cutting, threading and assembly
  • repairing installed ventilation ducting
  • installing and repairing insulation and lagging
  • operating marine sanitation systems

Hull technicians were also exposed to asbestos in insulation materials, packing, electrical seals and pipe gaskets.

All of the above jobs exposed veterans to asbestos in one way or another and are only some of the many jobs that exposed millions of civilian workers and veterans to asbestos. For questions, check out our FAQ page.

Holding Manufacturers, Distributors & Sellers Responsible

Asbestos manufacturers, distributors and sellers knew that asbestos products increased the risk of contracting mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. However, they failed to warn civilian workers and veterans about the known dangers of asbestos – thereby preventing them from protecting themselves by wearing respiratory protection.

Every manufacturer has a legal duty to warn of their products’ known dangers. When they don’t, they can and should be held responsible for their actions.

Navy veterans, civilians and their families may have a claim against asbestos manufacturers – even if exposure to asbestos occurred 50 or more years ago. The statute of limitations for filing most asbestos lawsuits isn’t triggered until you discover that you’ve been injured such as when you receive a diagnosis of mesothelioma.

Anyone who has been injured is encouraged to contact an experienced mesothelioma injury attorney who understands this debilitating and deadly disease and knows how Navy veterans and civilians were exposed.

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Last Modified: February 18, 2019

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