Workers who were employed at shipyards were at an extremely high risk of being exposed to asbestos between the 1940s and the 1970s. Hundreds of thousands of shipbuilders were tasked with using asbestos as insulation and fireproofing in more than 300 types of materials that were then used on ships. This level of exposure, combined with the severe lack in protection provided to workers, meant that many of these men and women developed serious or fatal asbestos-related diseases.
Shipyards used to be common places to find asbestos in products. Shipbuilders previously manufactured parts using asbestos because it the fiber is heat-resistant and inexpensive. However, in many cases, it wasn't until it was too late that the dangers of asbestos exposure were realized. Employers at these locations are now being sued for the wrongful deaths of many former employees.