Tankers & Oilers and Asbestos
Naval oilers and tankers were large vessels designed to transport large quantities of liquids. This included the water, fuel and oil that were used by the Navy for various purposes. Many of these vessels were used during World War II to deliver supplies and were manned by various military personnel.
Navy tankers were used primarily to transport supplies during World War II. Often weighing several tons, tankers could carry chemicals, water and in some cases, other vessels to troops. Tankers employed large numbers of workers and crewmen to keep the ships running smoothly. In some cases, these ships would be in service for long periods of time in order to maintain delivery of vital goods. Some ships during this period were able to carry up to 640 million gallons of liquid supplies each during the course of the war.
Naval oilers are vessels designed to help transport oil, but they may also have been used to move other liquids. These vessels were often the target of German forces during the war as the materials that they carried were vital to troops. Many of these Navy oilers were used to bring supplies to stations in the Pacific area. Often employing large numbers of workers, these ships saw heavy usage during the war. In some cases, ships would be used for countless delivery missions.
It has been discovered that many of these vessels contained asbestos that may be linked to incidents of asbestos-related illnesses and cancers. Workers on these ships may have been exposed to this asbestos, increasing the chance that an asbestos-related illness may occur. Inhaled asbestos has been demonstrated to lead to, or contribute to, a number of breathing conditions that can have fatal consequences. This may have affected those who served on these ships, as well as those who performed maintenance or modifications on the vessels. Workers who served on or serviced one of these vessel types during World War II are often encouraged to consult their physician. A physician can help determine whether they are at risk for an asbestos-related illness if an individual has been exposed to asbestos aboard one of these vessels.
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