Between the 1930s and mid-70s, the Navy used asbestos extensively in shipbuilding, maintenance, and repair, despite the well-documented risks associated with asbestos exposure in humans. Over 300 asbestos-containing materials have been used on Navy ships, thereby posing undue occupational hazards to the thousands and thousands of people who have worked on or around Navy ships.

Asbestos Exposure Cancer Risks on Navy Ships

While asbestos is prized for its durability, flame- and heat- resistance, as well as its soundproofing, and insulating qualities, exposure to this material can lead to serious diseases including asbestos cancer. Asbestos has been used in virtually every shipping operation, from flooring and siding, to use in engine and boiler rooms, to gaskets, electrical work, and plumbing. Because the material was so treasured by the Navy, asbestos was used on all Navy ships in 1939. In fact, its use was mandated.

That very same year, the Surgeon General publicized the risks of asbestos exposure on Navy ships, linking this material to asbestosis and mesothelioma cancer. Since this time, science has proven that asbestos can cause deadly diseases, including mesothelioma and lung cancer. While these risks have long been known, the Navy continued to use asbestos on Navy ships, imposing serious risks on those who worked on and around destroyer ships, aircraft carriers, submarines, assault ships, frigates, cruisers, amphibious assault ships, and more.

Those who have served or worked on Navy ships have likely been exposed to asbestos. Navy workers, therefore, are at high risk for health complications. For those in the Navy, asbestos exposure can lead to serious disease years down the line. Those who develop these diseases may have the legal right to seek compensation for their losses and suffering with the help of an experienced attorney. A lawyer looks at each individual case and works to establish compensation for exposure to asbestos as well as the treatment options that it often requires.

Asbestos Exposure in Materials on Navy Ships

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber, six types of which have been used extensively in navy ships and other commercial applications since the early 20th century. This material can be found in hundreds of products throughout the world. For example, the military is known to have used over 300 asbestos-containing materials in the building of ships during the 1900s. The following are the six types of asbestos used extensively by industry:

  1. Chrysotile: Also known as white or green asbestos, chrysotile is the kind used in 95% of all commercial applications of asbestos. However, it appears to be the least toxic.
  2. Tremolite: White and chalky, tremolite has been an active constituent of industrial and commercial talc.
  3. Anthophyllite: Anthophyllite is highly prized for its resistance to heat and chemicals.
  4. Crocidolite: Crocodolite (aka blue asbestos or reibeckite) is believed to be the most toxic.
  5. Amosite: Known as brown asbestos, this asbestos is often used in heat insulation.
  6. Actinolite: One of the least commonly used, this type has poor resistance to chemicals.

Asbestos exposure while serving in the Navy is the primary cause of thousands of cases of mesothelioma cancer, lung cancer, and asbestosis among Navy veterans. Few personnel were aware of the risk of asbestos poisoning during their Navy service, but alarming numbers of veterans are now being diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases that were contracted during WWII, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, and peacetime service.

Dangerous Navy Jobs

Because most ships built before 1980 have asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), the Navy personnel who served onboard or who worked in ports or during the shipbuilding process were at a greater-than-normal risk of being exposed to high levels of asbestos. Navy jobs that were particularly dangerous with regard to asbestos include:

  • boiler room work
  • machinery repair
  • machinists’ mates
  • shipyard work
  • construction work
  • submarine work
  • insulation installers

Asbestos Exposure in the Air

Asbestos exposure was also common among individuals serving in the Navy in capacities that did not involve installing or repairing ACMs. Asbestos is prone to crumbling and breaking, especially when it is being manipulated and when it is deteriorating with age or from the weather. Anyone in the area when asbestos is crumbling is at risk of breathing in the airborne asbestos fibers.

Merely spending time in an environment that has asbestos fibers in the air can be the cause of diseases, such as mesothelioma cancer, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Service time in shipyards, below deck, or in housing with ACMs was especially likely to result in asbestos-related illnesses, most of which don’t manifest until years, even decades, after the initial exposure.

Asbestos on Navy Vessels

Due to the exposure to asbestos, Navy workers are at high risk for life-threatening diseases. If you have served in the Navy aboard any of the following types of vessels, or if you helped to build or repair them, you should give some thought to your level of asbestos exposure in your Navy years:

  • aircraft carrier
  • battleship
  • cruiser
  • destroyer
  • frigate
  • submarine
  • patrol
  • amphibious
  • mine warfare
  • coastal defense

Learn about Navy Asbestos Exposure

Find out more about asbestos exposure in the Navy and jobs that are already known for producing mesothelioma cancer and other asbestos diseases among veterans. Contact Mesothelioma Treatment Centers today.

List of Navy ships with asbestos exposure:




LST 542

SS President Harding

SS President Wilson

USCG Ingham

USCG Violet

USCG Winnebago

USCGC Androscoggin


USCGC Mendota

USCGC Northwind

USNS Private Elden H. Johnson

USS Abbot

USS Abraham Lincoln

USS Acme

USS Admiral Eberle

USS Admiralty Islands

USS Ajax

USS Alabama

USS Alameda County

USS Alamo

USS Albacore SS 218

USS Albany

USS Albemarle

USS Albert W. Grant

USS Alstede

USS Altair

USS Amber Jack SS 219

USS America

USS Ammen

USS Amphion

USS Andromeda

USS Angerholm

USS Angler SS 240

USS Antietam CV 36 K

USS Antietam CV 36

USS Apogon SS 308

USS Arcadia

USS Archer-fish SS 331

USS Arcturus



USS Arenac

USS Argonaut SS 475

USS Arizona BB 39

USS Arkansas BB 33

USS Arnold J. Isbell

USS Ashtabula

USS Aspro SS 309

USS Atule SS 403

USS Aucilla

USS Ault

USS Bache

USS Badoeng Strait CVE 116

USS Bainbridge

USS Bairoko CVE 115

USS Balao SS 285

USS Baltimore

USS Bang SS 385

USS Barataria

USS Barb SS 220

USS Barbel SS 316

USS Barbero SS 317

USS Barbican

USS Barracuda SS 163

USS Bashaw

USS Bataan

USS Baussell

USS Beale

USS Beatty

USS Becuna

USS Begor

USS Belleau wood CVL 24

USS Benham

USS Benjamin Franklin

USS Bennington CV 20

USS Bergall SS 320

USS Berkeley

USS Besugo SS 321

USS Bethany

USS Beverly W. Reid

USS Biddle

USS Billfish SS 286

USS Black

USS Blackfin SS 322

USS Blandy

USS Blenny SS 324

USS Block Island

USS Blower SS 325

USS Blue

USS Blueback SS 326

USS Bluegill SS 223

USS Boarfish SS 327

USS Bonefish SS 223

USS Bon Homme Richard CVa

USS Bonita SS 165

USS Boston

USS Bowers

USS Bowfin SS 287

USS Boxer CV

USS Boyd

USS Bream SS 243

USS Briareus

USS Brill SS 330

USS Brinkley Bass

USS Brooke

USS Brown

USS Brownson

USS Buckley

USS Bugara SS 331

USS Bullhead SS 332

USS Bulwark

USS Bumper SS 333

USS Bunker CV

USS Bunker Hill

USS Burrfish SS 312

USS Burton Island

USS Bushnell

USS Butler

USS Cabezon SS 337

USS Cabot CVL 28

USS Cadmus

USS California BB 44

USS Calvert

USS Cape Esperance

USS Capps

USS Capricornus

USS Carbonero SS 337

USS Carl Vinson

USS Cascade

USS Catfish

USS Cavalier

USS Charles Cecil

USS Charles F. Adams

USS Charles R. Ware

USS Charles S. Sperry

USS Chemung

USS Chicago

USS Chilton

USS Chipola

USS Cimarron

USS Claude V. Ricketts

USS Cleveland

USS Cliffrose


USS Colonial

USS Colorado BB 45

USS Columbus

USS Commencement Bay

USS Cone

USS Constant

USS Constellation CV

USS Coral Sea CV

USS Corregidor CVE 58

USS Cowpens CLV 25

USS Cowell

USS Croaker

USS Currituck

USS Cushing

USS Cutlass

USS Dace

USS Darby

USS Dayton

USS Decatur

USS DeHaven

USS Delta

USS Des Moines

USS Diphda

USS Dixie

USS Donner

USS Dortch

USS Douglas Blackwood

USS Douglas H. Fox

USS Duncan

USS Duxbury Bay

USS Eaton

USS Edisto

USS Edson

USS Elliot

USS Ellison

USS Endurance

USS Energy

USS English

USS Enterprise CVN

USS Epping Forest

USS Erben

USS Ernest G. Small

USS Essex CV 9

USS Ethan Allen

USS Eugene A. Greene

USS Everglades

USS Eversole

USS F. D. Roosevelt

USS Fanshaw Bay

USS Farragut

USS Fayette

USS Firm

USS Fiske

USS Fitch

USS Flasher

USS Floyd Parks

USS Forrestal CV

USS Fort Mandan

USS Fort Snelling

USS Foss

USS Francis Marion

USS Frank E. Evans

USS Frank Knox

USS Franklin CV 13

USS Fraser

USS Fred T. Berry

USS Frontier

USS Frost

USS Fulton

USS Galveston

USS Gearing

USS General JC Breckinridge

USS George A. Johnson

USS George Clymer

USS George K. Mackenzie

USS George Lukenbach

USS George Washington

USS Greenlet

USS Greenling

USS Greenwood

USS Guadalupe

USS Guardfish

USS Guitarro

USS Gurke

USS Gustafson

USS Hailey

USS Hake SS 0001

USS Hale

USS Halibut

USS Halsey

USS Halsey Powell

USS Hambleton

USS Hammerhead SS 0002

USS Hancock CV 19

USS Hank

USS Harder SS 0004

USS Hardhead SS 0004

USS Harry E. Hubbard

USS Harry F. Bauer

USS Hartley

USS Harwood

USS Hawkbill SS 0005

USS Hector

USS Heerman

USS Helena

USS Henderson

USS Henley

USS Henry W. Tucker

USS Herbert Thomas

USS Hermitage

USS Herring SS 0006

USS Higbee

USS Hoe SS 0007

USS Holland

USS Hollis

USS Hooper Island

USS Horne

USS Hornet CV 12

USS Hornet CV8

USS Howard Gilmore

USS Hummingbird

USS Hunt

USS Hunting

USS Huse

USS Icefish SS 0008

USS Idaho

USS Idaho BB 42

USS Independence

USS Independence C1

USS Independence CLV 22

USS Indiana

USS Ingraham

USS Intrepid CV 11

USS Iowa

USS Iowa BB 61

USS Isherwood

USS J. Douglas Blackwood

USS J. Franklin Bell

USS Jack SS 0010

USS Jallao SS 0010

USS James C. Owens

USS James Madison

USS John Craig

USS John F. Kennedy

USS John Marshall

USS John S. McCain

USS John W. Thomason

USS John W. Weeks

USS Jonas Ingram

USS Joseph P. Kennedy

USS Joseph Tausig

USS Jouett

USS Julius Furer

USS Juneau

USS Jupiter

USS Kalinin Bay

USS Kearsarge CV 33

USS Kearsage CV

USS Kennedy

USS Kenneth D. Bailey

USS Kenneth M. Willett

USS Kenneth Whiting

USS Kermit Roosevelt

USS Kete S 0011

USS Kilauea

USS Kimberly

USS Kingfish SS 0012

USS Kittiwake

USS Kitty Hawk

USS Klondike

USS Knapp

USS Knox

USS Kraken SS 0013

USS Krishna

USS Kula Gulf

USS Kwajalein

USS Laffey

USS Lagarto SS 0014

USS Lake Champlain CV 39

USS Lakewood Victory

USS Lamar

USS Langley CV 1

USS Langley CVL 27

USS Latimer


USS Leahy

USS Leartes

USS Lee Fox

USS Lexington CV2

USS Leyte CV 32

USS Lincoln County

USS Liscome Bay

USS Little Rock

USS Lizardfish SS 0015

USS Loeser

USS Loggerhead SS 0016

USS Long Beach

USS Los Angeles



USS Lukenbach

USS Luzerne County

USS Luzon

USS Lyman K. Swenson

USS Lynde McCormick

USS Macabi SS 0017

USS Mackeral-204-0018

USS Macomb

USS Macon

USS Maddox

USS Magoffin

USS Mansfield

USS Mapiro SS 0020

USS Marias

USS Markab

USS Marlin SS 0021

USS Marquette

USS Maryland BB 46

USS Massachusetts

USS Massachusetts BB 59

USS Massey

USS McKean

USS McNair

USS Mellena

USS Midway CV

USS Mindoro

USS Mingo SS 0022

USS Mississippi

USS Mississippi BB 41

USS Missouri

USS Missouri BB 63

USS Mitscher

USS Moale

USS Monssen

USS Montague

USS Monterey

USS Montgomery County

USS Monticello

USS Moray SS 0023

USS Mount Baker

USS Mount McKinley

USS Mullinnix

USS Muskallunge SS 262

USS Murray

USS Naifeh

USS Nantahala

USS Narwhal SS 263

USS Nathan Hale

USS Nathanael Greene

USS Nautilus-ss-0024

USS Navarro

USS Neches

USS Nereus

USS Nevada

USS Nevada BB 36

USS New Jersey

USS New Jersey BB 62

USS New Mexico BB 40

USS New York BB 34

USS Newport News

USS Niobrara


USS Noble

USS Norfolk

USS Norris

USS North Carolina BB 55

USS Northampton

USS Northwind Staten Island

USS Notable

USS Nueces

USS Oberon

USS O’Brien

USS Observer

USS O’Hare

USS Oklahoma BB 37

USS Oklahoma City

USS Olmstead

USS Orca

USS Orion

USS Oriskany CV

USS Orleck

USS Outpost

USS Oyster

USS Ozbourn

USS Paddle SS 167

USS Palau

USS Pampanito SS 383

USS Panay

USS Pandemus

USS Parche SS 384

USS Pargo SS 264

USS Patrick Henry

USS Paul Revere A

USS Pennsylvania BB 38

USS Perch SS 176

USS Perkins

USS Permit SS 178

USS Perry

USS Peto SS 265

USS Phantom

USS Philippine Sea CV

USS Pickerel SS 177

USS Picuda SS 382

USS Piedmont

USS Pike SS 173

USS Pilotfish SS 386

USS Pinckney

USS Pine Island

USS Pinkney

USS Pintado SS 387

USS Pipefish SS 388

USS Pirahna SS 389

USS Plaice SS 390

USS Platte

USS Plunger SS 179

USS Plymouth Rock

USS Pogy SS 266

USS Point Barrow

USS Point Cruz CVE

USS Point Loma

USS Polaris

USS Pollack SS 180

USS Pomfret SS

USS Pompon SS 267-0026

USS Pompano SS 181-0025

USS Pondera

USS Porpoise SS 172-0027

USS Portland

USS Prairie

USS Preble

USS President Adams

USS Princeton CV

USS Princeton CVL

USS Procyon

USS Protector

USS Prowess

USS Puffer SS 268-0028

USS Puget Sound

USS Putnam

USS Pyro

USS Queenfish SS 393-0029

USS Quillback SS 424-0030

USS Radford

USS Randolph CV

USS Ranger CV

USS Rankin

USS Rasher SS-269-0031

USS Rathburne

USS Raton SS 270-0033

USS Ray SS 271-0033

USS Razorback SS 394-0034

USS Reclaimer

USS Redfin SS 272-0035

USS Redfish SS 395-0036

USS Rehoboth

USS Rendova

USS Renville

USS Rexburg

USS Richey

USS Richmond Turner

USS Roark

USS Robalo SS 273-0037

USS Robert A. Owens

USS Robert E. Lee

USS Roberts

USS Rochester

USS Rock SS 274-0038

USS Rockbridge

USS Rodman

USS Rogers

USS Ronquil SS 396-0039

USS Runner SS 275-0040

USS Runner SS 476-0041

USS Rupertus

USS Rushmore

USS S-1 SS 105-0042

USS S-20 SS 125-0043

USS S-46 SS 157-0044

USS Sable ix

USS Sacramento

USS Sailfish SS 192

USS Saint Paul

USS Saipan

USS Salem

USS Salmon SS 182

USS Salt Lake City

USS Sam Rayburn

USS Samoset

USS Sampson

USS Samuel Houston

USS Samuel N. Moore

USS Sanctuary

USS Sand Lance SS 381

USS San Jacinto CLV

USS Sarasota

USS Saratoga CV

USS Saratoga CV3

USS Sargo SS 188

USS Saury SS 189

USS Sawfish SS 276

USS Scabbardfish SS 397

USS Scamp SS 277

USS Scorpion SS 278

USS Scranton

USS Sculpin SS 191

USS Sea Cat SS 399

USS Sea Devil SS 400

USS Sea Dog SS 401

USS Seadragon SS 194

USS Sea Fox SS 402

USS Seahorse SS 304

USS Sea Lion SS 195

USS Sea Owl SS 405

USS Sea Poacher SS 406

USS Searaven SS 196

USS Sea Robin SS 407

USS Seawolf SS 197

USS Segundo SS 398

USS Sennet SS 408

USS Severn

USS Shangri-La

USS Shannon

USS Shark

USS Shasta

USS Shea

USS Shenandoah

USS Siboney

USS Sicily Cve

USS Sierra

USS Simon Lake

USS Stikoh Bay

USS Skate

USS Skipjack

USS Slater

USS South Dakota

USS South Dakota BB 57

USS Spadefish

USS Springfield

USS Sproston

USS Steamer Bay

USS Steinaker

USS Sterett

USS Stickell

USS Stoddard

USS Stribling

USS Strong

USS Sturdy

USS Sumner

USS Surfbird

USS Swordfish

USS Tacoma

USS Talbott County

USS Talladega

USS Tallahatchie County

USS Tangier

USS Tarawa CV

USS Tawasa

USS Tecumseh

USS Tennessee BB 43

USS Terror

USS Texas

USS Texas-BB 35

USS The Sullivans

USS Theodore Chandler

USS Theodore Roosevelt

USS Thomas A. Edison

USS Thomas E. Fraser

USS Thomas Jefferson

USS Thomaston

USS Thompson

USS Thor

USS Thornton

USS Thuban

USS Ticonderoga CV

USS Tidewater

USS Timmerman

USS Tirante

USS Toledo

USS Tolovana

USS Topeka

USS Towers

USS Towhee

USS Trenton

USS Tripoli

USS Truxton

USS Tullibee

USS Turner

USS Tusk

USS Tutuila

USS Uhlmann

USS Union

USS Utah BB 31

USS Valley Forge CV

USS Vance

USS Venture

USS Vicksburg

USS Vogelgesang

USS Vulcan

USS Wadleigh

USS Wahoo

USS Waldron

USS Walke

USS Waller

USS Wantuck

USS Washington BB 56

USS Wasp CV 18

USS Wasp CV 7

USS West Virginia BB 48

USS Whitehurst

USS Whitley

USS Wickes

USS Wilkinson

USS Willard Keith

USS William Seiverling

USS Windham Bay

USS Wintle

USS Wisconsin

USS Wolverine IX 64

USS Worcester

USS Wren

USS Wyoming

USS Yancey

USS Yarnall

USS Yellowstone


USS YO-116

USS Yorktown CV 5

USS Yorktown CV 10

USS Yosemite


USS Zelima

USS Zellars

Navy Asbestos Exposure (English) / Servicio en la Marina de Guerra (Spanish)