SS Alkimos Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The SS Alkimos was launched in October 1943 as part of the United States’ Liberty Ship program and allocated to the Norwegian Shipping & Trade Mission. The ship was in service for 18 months and it operated mainly in the Mediterranean transporting troops and cargo. One noticeable incident that occurred on the boat during this time, is that a murder-suicide took place in August 1944, while the ship was at Naples. Once the war was over, the ship was sold to a Greek company and renamed Alkimos. Under this name, the ship remained in service for almost two decades. In March 1963, the vessel struck a reef off the Western Australian coast. It was towed to a port off the coast for repairs and then towed again but the tow line broke after only a few hours at sea. While asbestos was once thought of as a miracle due to its durability, fireproofing and other useful properties, it had an alarming drawback: it could cause people to develop serious health problems. Anyone exposed to asbestos decades ago is now at risk of asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer since it takes 20-50 years for these diseases to develop and cause noticeable symptoms. Those constantly exposed to asbestos materials over long periods of time are more likely to develop asbestos-related diseases.

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