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Ship Builders & Navy Veterans

More than thirty percent (30%) of Americans with mesothelioma cancer were exposed to asbestos while serving in the United States Military. Many more were Naval Contractors, and Shipyard Workers, who helped build and service Navy and commercial vessels. Asbestos exposure is the only cause of Malignant Mesothelioma. If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease like Mesothelioma, Lung Cancer, or Asbestosis, call us at 757-223-4500 for a free consultation. You can also fill out our contact form​ for a free case evaluation.  

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Armed Forces Veterans and shipyard workers who served between 1940 and 1980 have a great risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses, such as:

  • Asbestosis

  • Lung Cancer

  • Mesothelioma

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Navy personnel and shipyard workers, such as the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Norfolk Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. (“Norshipco”), Horne Brothers Shipyard, Metro Machine, Colonna Shipyard, and others from the 1930s through the 1980s, are at a high risk for developing a disease due to asbestos exposure.

Navy Ships

Nearly all branches of the military and commercial vessels utilized asbestos for many purposes. More than three hundred asbestos containing products were used by the military, the 1930s through the 1980s. Every Navy and commercial ship built before the 1980s employed numerous asbestos-containing materials, putting veterans, sailors and Shipbuilders at risk. 

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These asbestos materials were used throughout Navy and commercial vessels. Personnel who worked below deck were exposed to asbestos dust consistently. All sailors, shipbuilders, and ship repair workers aboard Navy and commercial vessels are at risk for Mesothelioma, as asbestos products were used in navigation rooms, sleeping quarters, mess halls, engine rooms, boiler rooms, pump rooms, and throughout the ships.

Due to the nature of ship construction, demolition and repair work that took place at Shipyards in Virginia, shipyard workers were exposed to inhaling toxic asbestos fibers provided by a wide range of asbestos product suppliers including John Crane, Inc., Warren Pumps, IMO/DeLaval, Nash, Velan, Aurora, William Powell, Byron Jackson, Ingersoll Rand, J.R. Clarkson, Crane Co., Rockwell, Edwards, Goulds, Noland, Cleaver-Brooks, Tate Andale, Milwaukee, Gardner Denver, Kunkle, Northern, Foster Wheeler, Owens-Illinois, Owens-Corning, and Selby Battersby (SB Decking), among others.

Asbestos could be found in gaskets, valves, pumps, evaporators and distillers, forced draft blowers and other fans, condensers, floor and pipe coverings, clutches and brakes, among other things. Because of the extensive use of Asbestos materials and Asbestos-containing products, Virginia Navy veterans and shipyard workers are

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one of the most at-risk groups for developing Malignant Mesothelioma Lung Cancer and other asbestos-related diseases.

Virginia Shipyards in the Hampton Roads Region of Virginia

     A.   Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia

The Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company (NNS), now known as Newport news Shipbuilding (a division of Huntington Ingalls, Inc.), is location in Newport News, Virginia and has been building commercial ships since 1980, and military vesserls since 1893.

Newport News Shipbuilding is the only shipbuilding company in the United States that designs, builds and refuels nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. It is also one of only two companies that designs and builds nuclear-powered submarines. 

Newport News Shipbuilding in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia provided construction and repair services for naval and commercial vessels of all types, and in its more than 100 years of existence, has built hundreds of commercial and naval vessels.


If you worked for any of these shipyards in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, worked aboard a ship there, or were stationed aboard a vessel built in the Newport News shipyard, you may have been exposed to asbestos and be at risk for mesothelioma cancer.

     B.   Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia

Norfolk Naval Shipyard is a Navy yard in the Hampton Roads city of Portsmouth, Virginia. It has the distinction of being the oldest U.S. Navy Shipyard and was originally founded in 1767. When its initial founder decided to remain loyal to the British during the Revolutionary War, the shipyard was seized by the Colony of Virginia.  The Shipyard subsequently became a Navy yard owned by the United States government and was renamed the Norfolk Naval Shipyard after the largest city in the area. 

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For over 200 years, Norfolk naval Shipyard has built and repaired Navy ships. During World War II, the shipyard employed nearly 43,000 workers, built nearly 30 major vessels, and repaired 6,850 U.S. and Allied ships. During the Korean War, the shipyard completed work on more than 1,250 Naval vessels, and it has continued to repair large numbers of Navy vessels since then. 

     C.   Norfolk Shipbuilding and Drydock Company

NORSHIPCO is a subsidiary of United States Marine Repair, Inc. (USMR).  Located in Hampton Roads city of Norfolk, Virginia, it is the largest non-nuclear ship repair, modernization, conversion and overhaul company in the United States.

From its inception in 1915, NORSHIPCO served the Navy through both World Wars, Korea, and all other conflicts.

If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease like Mesothelioma, Lung Cancer, or Asbestosis, call us at 757-223-4500 for a free consultation. You can also fill out our contact form​ for a free case evaluation.  

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