SS John B. Lennon Areas With Asbestos Exposure

SS John B. Lennon

The SS John B. Lennon was a Liberty Ship in the service of the United States Navy during World War II. After its construction at the J. A. Jones Construction’s shipyards in Georgia, in December 1943, the ship sailed to New York City and then joined a convoy headed for the northern coast of the UK where it operated for two months. After a two-month trip to the Soviet Union, the SS John B. Lennon returned to the southern coast of England and continued its operations between various ports there and northern France. Once it finished its service duties, the vessel was sold for commercial use to a French company and then sold and renamed several more times until it was finally scrapped in Japan in 1968. The fireproof qualities of asbestos meant extra protection for Navy ships, and demand for asbestos products skyrocketed, particularly during and after WWII and the Korean War. Everything from the insulation on pipes to the paint coating the ship walls contained asbestos, and the most dangerous places for exposure were below-deck compartments including engine rooms, boiler rooms, pump rooms, damage control rooms, and propulsion rooms. Even sleeping quarters and mess halls contained dangerous levels of asbestos in paint and insulation, putting Navy personnel at risk wherever they were.

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