The SS Charles Bulfinch was a Liberty Ship that was built at the Bethlehem Fairfield Shipyard in Baltimore, May 1943 to be used for war operations during World War II. It was named in honor of Charles Bulfinch, the architect of Massachusetts State House in Boston and the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Having survived the war, the vessel was scrapped in 1971.
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that has been used in various industries for construction and building purposes, including shipbuilding, since the 19th century. When asbestos is friable, or able to be disturbed so that dust is created, products that contain asbestos emit invisible and visible fibers into the air, which can then be easily inhaled. Inhalation of asbestos fibers was proven to greatly increase the risk of asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer. The latency period for these diseases can range from 10 to 40 years or longer.