SS Charles W. Stiles Areas With Asbestos Exposure

SS Charles W. Stiles

The SS Charles W. Stiles was a Liberty Ship built in the United States to be used for World War II operations. It was named in honor of Charles W. Stiles, an American parasitologist from Spring Valley, New York widely known for his work in the American South against hookworm infestation in the early 1900s. The ship was built at the J.A. Jones Construction’s shipyards in Brunswick, Georgia in September 1944. Soon after launch, the SS Charles W. Stiles was transferred to Seas Shipping Corporation to be operated throughout the war. It was sold into private ownership in February 1947 and renamed Bygdin. Due to its excellent resistance to heat, asbestos was a valuable commodity for the shipbuilding industry. Asbestos crystals are long and thin, which makes them look like fibers, and are extremely fragile; the slightest disturbance makes the crystals disintegrate into tiny shards which are so small that they can be invisible to the naked eye and remain airborne for quite some time if disturbed. Once inhaled, these particles can get into the respiratory passage and lungs, causing inflammation, scarring and diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis, pleural plaques, pulmonary fibrosis, pleural effusion, and diffuse pleural thickening.

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