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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 >

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Mare Island Naval Shipyard

Constructed in 1854, the Mare Island Naval Shipyard was the first US Navy shipyard on the West Coast. Since then, it has established a strong reputation for building ships and submarines. In fact, Mare Island still holds the record for the fastest construction of a warship: the USS Ward, constructed in 17½ days during the First World War. During World War II, the shipyard contributed greatly to the US Navy, constructing a large number of ships and submarines.

Unfortunately, the men and women who have served at Mare Island Naval Shipyard have not always been treated with the respect or gratitude they deserve. Even though members of the US Navy knew about the dangers of asbestos by the beginning of World War II, they continued to use this mineral in the construction of naval ships – often without giving any safety equipment or warning to workers.

Today, innocent Navy veterans continue to pay the price for this negligence. Because diseases like mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer can take so long to develop, many veterans of the Second World War are only now being diagnosed with these conditions. Long after their service was completed, they continue to make sacrifices.

Asbestos in the Mare Island Naval Shipyard

Asbestos is a low-cost, flame-retardant mineral. Because of these qualities, it was very popular with businesses and government agencies for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. The use of asbestos in the US Navy reached a peak between the 1930s and 1970s, when it was used to produce:

  • Cement
  • Sheet metal
  • Floor coatings
  • Insulation for pipes and wiring
  • Brake pads
  • Accelerators and clutches

People who constructed ships and submarines often had to use these materials in small, confined spaces. As a result, it was virtually impossible for workers to avoid breathing in asbestos dust. When inhaled, asbestos dust can damage the lungs and lead to the formation of scar tissue. Over the course of years or decades, this scar tissue can cause diseases such as asbestosis or the cancer mesothelioma.

Today, some Navy veterans with mesothelioma or related diseases have begun fighting back against the negligent people who harmed them. While nothing can undo their suffering or their families’, legal action can sometimes help victims obtain some amount of compensation and perhaps a sense of closure.

Contact Us

For more information about asbestos exposure in Mare Island Navy shipyards and your legal rights, please contact us at 1-800-781-3955.

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