The SS Elwood Mead was a Liberty Ship used by the US Navy in World War II. The ship was named after the famous professor, politician, and engineer, Elwood Mead. He is best known as the head of the United States Bureau of Reclamation starting in 1924 until his death in 1936. The ship was laid down by the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation, Portland, in December 1943, sponsored by Mrs. Elwood Mead. The SS Elwood mead took part in the battle for the Philippines in 1944 and, after the war, was sold to Goulandris Bros, Piraeus, Greece and retired from service in 1968. It was scrapped the same year at Itozaki, Japan. Classified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Environmental Protection Agency, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a known human carcinogen, asbestos is not considered an immediate threat, but when its microscopic fibers become airborne, Navy personnel involved in the renovation and repair processes may inhale small particles. These particles become lodged in the lungs, potentially leading to mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, and other asbestos-related diseases.