Carpenters and Asbestos Exposure


The US Navy faced a great problem in the last century regarding asbestos exposure among its veterans. Working on a ship or building one most of the times involves working at high temperatures. This is why asbestos was really handy due to its properties.

However, it was soon discovered that a lengthy exposure leads to very serious diseases like mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, fibrosis or pleural effusion. Products containing damaged asbestos like gaskets, valves, turbines, electrical wire systems, tiles or brake linings, release airborne asbestos fibers, which inhaled remain in the lungs. These products should be signaled, wrapped into plastic bags and the workers should wear protection masks when working around or with them.

Carpenters are among the US Navy workers that were at risk of developing respiratory diseases. A carpenter is in charge of woodworking activities, starting with making furniture to larger construction projects. Carpenters who work in the shipbuilding process are called shipwrights.

US Navy workers were not aware of the dangers of working with and around asbestos, and not wearing protective gear made it easy for them to inhale the aiborne asbestos fibers while working on the ship.

Quoting Matthew L., carpenter on USS Independence CVL-22: "It is amazing how one can survive war, but dies because he inhaled asbestos fibers without even knowing." He died in 2016 from cancer of the larynx caused by asbestos exposure.

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