Battleships and Asbestos

A Navy battleship is a large and highly armored warship. The U.S. Navy coined the term “battleship” during the late 19th century, and the HMS Dreadnaught, which was launched in 1906, became the first. Because of this, “dreadnaughts” came to be the name for a whole class of constructed battleships.

Battleships in the U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy has long considered the battleship to be a symbol of the dominance and bravery of their branch, with the vessel playing an essential role in both military policy as well as international relations. During the First World War, the production of battleships increased and they became an integral part of the war as the number of naval battles rose dramatically. Numerous treaties during the period attempted to limit the number of ships that a country could possess in its navy. Despite this, the technology surrounding battleships continued to increase, as did battleship production.

During World War II, the role of the battleship became even more advanced. They were crucial in several engagements in the Mediterranean, Pacific, and Atlantic zones. Several battleships of this era, such as the USS Alabama and the USS Missouri, played a large role in World War II. Regardless of the presence of these ships during the war, several historians still question whether or not the battleships were effective, as they were quite vulnerable to attacks from missiles, torpedoes, and submarines. The battleship was later replaced with the aircraft carrier after the end of the World War II. They went on to become fire support ships for the U.S. Navy during the Cold War. The last battleship was removed in 2006 from the Register of Naval Vessels.

Asbestos Exposure

Numerous vessels that were constructed and used during World War II, including these battleships, were built several decades before the legislation which banned the use of asbestos in construction materials and other substances. Many vessels possessed high asbestos levels within piping insulation. Asbestos exposure is the only determined cause of mesothelioma, a rare and fatal form of cancer. Because of this, it is essential that all military veterans who have worked on Navy battleships make sure to monitor their health and obtain a physician’s guidance in order to ensure that they are not victims of the cancer.

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