Veterans who worked in different areas of ships and shipyards were exposed to this toxic mineral
Asbestos was used abundantly in the construction of Navy ships. Any place on ships that required heat resistance, for instance, boiler rooms, engine rooms, weapons and ammunition storage rooms, mess halls, navigation room, and sleeping quarters contained asbestos. It was used as insulation for walls and flooring, and also covered pumps, motors, condensers, compressors, and pipes. Other products such as cables, valves, and gaskets had asbestos.
Asbestos fibers became airborne during repairs or when these ships were damaged during battle. As there were poor ventilation and restricted air flow throughout the ships, the airborne asbestos fibers got accumulated exposing the people to dangerous levels of asbestos on board. Electricians, technicians, submarine workers, and navy builders were often exposed to asbestos whereas other sailors, culinary workers, and medical staff were at risk of asbestos exposure on board. Personnel who were working below the deck were at highest risk due to poor ventilation. Shipbuilders involved in the construction, demolition, repair or renovation of ships were exposed to microscopic fibers of asbestos. Apart from the ships, the navy veterans were exposed to asbestos even on land as military bases and vehicles contained asbestos products.