SS James Longstreet Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The SS James Longstreet was a Liberty Ship built in the United States to be used for World War II operations. The ship was launched in October 1942 at Houston Shipbuilding Corporation in Houston, Texas. Its wartime service consisted of several cargo runs between U.S. West Coast and several islands in the Atlantic until October 1943, when it collided with a British ship in a storm. Afterward, it was towed to New York and declared a total loss. It was acquired by the U.S. Navy and used as a bombing target for air to surface guided missiles but also as part of the Project Dove, a project seeking to develop a heat-seeking bomb for the U.S. Navy. From World War II through the 1970s, the shipbuilding industry used asbestos when constructing aircraft carriers, amphibious warships, battleships, cruisers, destroyers, escorts, frigates, minesweepers, submarines, auxiliary ships, and merchant marine ships. While the insulating properties, mechanical, chemical, heat, and flame resistance, as well as its relatively low cost, made this substance useful when constructing ships, numerous individuals who worked in the shipping industry in the middle of the 20th century have become seriously ill or died as a result of asbestos exposure.

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