Thousands, perhaps millions of sailors and other ship-related professionals have been exposed to high levels of asbestos. In particular, the boiler and engine rooms of ships were insulated with enormous amounts of asbestos pipe and block insulations, muds and cements, gaskets and packing, and asbestos cloth. Most if not all of the turbines, boilers, pumps and valves used asbestos that would have to be disturbed during repairs and maintenance. While the sailors valiantly performed their duty to protect our nation, all of the companies making these products also had a duty – a duty to warn both the Navy and the sailors of the potential dangers of this equipment and how to perform the work in a safer manner. As the medical and scientific literature has proven, anyone working regularly in these areas was put at high risk for mesothelioma.* But, as the death of the highly regarded and deeply revered Admiral Zumwalt by mesothelioma indicates, all sailors on those ships were put at risk while they defended their country.
So many military personnel have been put at risk for mesothelioma that the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology has become internationally renowned for its expertise and research in diagnosing mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma cases involving U.S. Navy exposure require experience and knowledge of the unique legal challenges these cases present.
Often there are still U.S. Navy records available indicating not only what types of asbestos containing equipment was on a given ship, but also what equipment was refurbished or repaired at a given point in time.
* Forsell K, Hageberg S, Nilsson R., Lung cancer and mesothelioma among engine room crew--case reports with risk assessment of previous and ongoing exposure to carcinogens. Int Marit Health. 2007;58(1-4):5-13.