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Asbestos was used for decades in construction and shipbuilding. If you or someone close to you has worked as a drywaller, pipefitter, or in the Navy, you may have been exposed to harmful asbestos fibers. Learn more >

Mesothelioma is a deadly, elusive cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. We provide free resources to help you understand diagnosis, treatment, and more. Learn more >

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Long Beach Naval Shipyard, California

The Long Beach Naval Shipyard was originally known as the US Naval Dry Docks, then Terminal Island Shipyard before obtaining its current name in 1948. It was in operation during World War I and the Korean War, but activity on this base reached its peak during World War II. Between 1941 and 1945, the shipyard was greatly expanded so that the sailors stationed there could repair tankers, destroyers, and a wide variety of other Navy ships.

The work completed on the Long Beach Naval Shipyard contributed greatly to our Navy’s success throughout the 20th century. Unfortunately, it also placed the men and women employed there in harm’s way. While building and repairing Naval ships, many crewmembers and other workers were exposed to the dangerous mineral asbestos.

Asbestos and the Long Beach Naval Shipyard

The Navy used asbestos extensively in the construction and maintenance of ships during the two World Wars and the Korean War. During this time period, asbestos could often be found in:

  • Insulation for electrical wires and piping
  • Sheet metal
  • Cement
  • Gaskets
  • Floor covering

Asbestos is rarely dangerous as long as it is intact. Unfortunately, during the process of building or repairing ships, shipyard workers often had to cut, weld, or otherwise manipulate materials containing asbestos. This can cause asbestos dust to be released into the air and inhaled, putting everyone nearby at risk for asbestosis or the cancer mesothelioma.

Navy Veterans and Mesothelioma

After serving our country, Navy veterans should be able to retire in comfort. Sadly, this is simply not possible for some. People who have been exposed to asbestos are at increased risk for mesothelioma, a form of cancer that attacks the protective covering over the lungs. Mesothelioma can take 40 years or longer to fully develop, meaning that many Navy veterans of World War II or Korea are only now being diagnosed with the disease.

Shockingly, there is evidence that some members of the US government knew about the risks that Naval yard workers were taking and failed to take action to protect them. Today, some members of the Navy who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma are seeking justice against the negligent parties who harmed them.

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