SS Baton Rouge Victory (MCV-846) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

SS Baton Rouge Victory (MCV-846)

Taking an unusually long time to complete for a ship of its class, the SS Baton Rouge (MCV-846) was ready for duty on September 24th, 1945, nearly twenty days after the Japanese surrendered. She was employed by the American Export Line for overdue assignments - that is hauling cargo, mainly Canadian timber, whose transport was postponed due to the war. She operated from both the East and West coasts of the US during this time. As a notable incident, she was involved in a ship-to-ship collision off San Francisco on November 29, 1946, but no crew members were hurt in the incident and both vessels were quickly repaired. Asbestos was utilized nearly everywhere, including in boiler rooms, engine rooms, and sleeping spaces. It was utilized as insulation, pipe covering, and in the paint that was used to coat ships. Between World War II and the late-1970s, exposure to asbestos was not limited to spending great amounts of time on ships. Even employees loading and unloading materials at ports and dry docks may have been exposed to high levels of asbestos, as the mineral fibers were found in the boxes, crates, pallets, and packaging materials used to transport the goods.

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