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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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Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine is the US Navy’s oldest continuously operating shipyard. It became a Navy shipyard in 1800, although ships have been constructed here since the days of British colonialism. In World War I, the workers here began constructing and repairing submarines as well as ships. In the 1950’s, nuclear submarines were added to the list of vessels constructed here, leading to the motto “From Sails to Atoms.”

While the history of the Portsmouth Navy Shipyard is a proud one, it also contains tragedies. Over the years, people who work and live in this area have been exposed to a variety of toxins, prompting the Environmental Protection Agency to add the shipyard to its list of Superfund sites in 1994. For those who worked in the shipyards during World War II or the Korean War, one concern is potential exposure to the toxic mineral asbestos.

Asbestos and the Portsmouth Navy Shipyard

People who construct and repair ships and submarines are often required to spend long periods of time in confined spaces. When toxins are released into the air, it can be virtually impossible to avoid inhaling them without the proper safety equipment.

Tragically, the people who worked in the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard prior to 1980 generally had no such equipment, even as they handled asbestos-containing materials like:

  • Sheet metal
  • Floor coatings
  • Cement
  • Caulk
  • Gaskets

When materials containing asbestos are handled, asbestos fibers can easily be released into the air and inhaled. As a result, anyone who has worked with asbestos is at risk for developing serious health conditions such as asbestosis or mesothelioma.

Navy Veterans and Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a malignant cancer that affects the protective outer lining of the lungs and abdomen. Its only known cause is exposure to asbestos fibers. Tragically, many Navy veterans have been diagnosed with this disease, particularly those who constructed or repaired ships or submarines. Because the disease can take years or even decades to become symptomatic, many World War II and Korean War veterans are only now being diagnosed.

Some of these veterans and their families are choosing to fight back against the negligent parties who harmed them by filing legal claims. While this is often a complicated process, it can also be a mesothelioma victim’s chance to receive some form of compensation for medical bills and other losses.

Contact Us

To learn more about filing a Portsmouth Naval Shipyard asbestos exposure claim, fill out our quick contact form or call us at 800-781-3955.

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