The United States Navy owns and operates four National Shipyards across the country. The National Shipyards are located in different areas and provide different maritime services but each play an invaluable part of U.S. Navy operations.

Norfolk National Shipyard

The Norfolk National Naval Shipyard is located in Portsmouth, Virginia and specializes in the repair, update, and overhaul of U.S. Navy vessels. The Norfolk National Naval Shipyard prides itself on its many repair capabilities, which includes, dry-docking, fabrication, and engineering for all vessel in the U.S. Navy’s fleet. The Norfolk Naval Shipyard remains the country’s largest U.S. Naval facility and is a modern shipyard at the forefront of the newest technology in the ship industry.

Pearl Harbor National Shipyard

The U.S. Navy operates a large national repair shipyard located in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The Pearl Harbor National Naval Shipyard operates as a full service Regional Maintenance Shipyard, consisting of four enormous dry docks and facilities that rest on nearly 112 acres. The Pearl Harbor National Naval Shipyard services and repairs the U.S. Pacific fleet, keeping the ships “Fit to Fight.”?

Portsmouth National Shipyard

The Portsmouth National Naval Shipyard in Maine specializes in the repair, maintenance, and repair of the Los Angeles Class of submarines. Operated by the U.S. Navy, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is the premier site of submarine service. In the past, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard built submarines but since 1971, the National Shipyard has shifted to the repair and overhaul of the U.S. Naval submarine fleet.

Puget Sound National Shipyard

The Puget Sound National Shipyard is one of the largest shipyards on the West Coast. Located in Bremerton, Washington, the Puget Sound National Shipyard currently serves as a repair, overhaul, and dry-dock shipyard for a wide variety of U.S. Navy vessels. The Puget Sound National  Shipyard is the U.S. Navy center for the modernization of aircraft carriers and the production of guided missile frigates. Since 1990, the Puget Sound National Shipyard has become one of the prime centers for the recycling and overhaul of large vessels, even those containing nuclear waste. The Puget Sound National Shipyard is often engaged in the activity of salvaging parts from old ships for use in others.

Asbestos & the National Shipyards

Together the four National Shipyards, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Pearl Harbor Shipyard, Portsmouth Shipyard and Puget Sound Shipyard,   and their shipyard workers have made enormous contributions to the U.S. naval fleet. Unfortunately, the National Shipyards used asbestos in many of their shipyard operations. The health dangers of asbestos were unknown to the public until the 1980s and unprotected shipyard workers were exposed to high levels of asbestos for prolonged periods of time. Many shipyard workers have developed life threatening diseases due to asbestos exposure.

Asbestos was an ideal material for ship construction and repair because asbestos is able to resist fire and high temperatures. Asbestos is a toxic fibrous mineral and extremely dangerous when inhaled. When National Shipyard workers repair asbestos containing ship components, there is a strong likelihood that they disturb asbestos fibers that were in the old parts when they were installed back when the ships were built. When these asbestos fibers are disturbed, they float in the air and are inhaled and lodged in the lungs, causing cancerous growths and life threatening diseases, including:

  • Mesothelioma (a cancer of the protective lining that covers most of the body’s internal organs, including the lungs)
  • Lung cancer
  • Asbestosis (lung tissue scarring)
  • Cancer in internal organs

Contact your physician if you think you have been exposed to asbestos. Asbestos diseases can take decades to become symptomatic. Authorities have estimated that nearly 100,000 shipyard workers have died from asbestos related diseases, including those from the National Shipyards. Many shipyard workers concerned about their health have contacted attorneys to discuss their injuries. In recent years, a number of shipyard companies have been the targets of lawsuits brought by shipyard workers injured by asbestos exposure.

Asbestos Injuries at the National Shipyards – Virginia

If you or a loved one has worked at any of the National Shipyards, you may have been exposed to asbestos. Contact one of our asbestos injury lawyers today for a free and confidential case evaluation. You may be entitled to compensation for your asbestos related injuries.

Published November 17, 2011 by