SS W. P. Few Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The SS W. P. Few was a Liberty ship built at J.A. Jones Construction, Brunswick, Georgia, Florida, during World War II. She was named after William Preston Few, the first president of Duke University. The ship was laid down on 1 May 1944, under a Maritime Commission contract and launched on 22 June 1944. Because of its affordability, thermal stability, great tensile strength and water resistance, asbestos was widely used in the construction of marine vessels.

According to the War Related Illness and Injury Center, there were specific occupations connected to service-related asbestos exposure. Navy personnel who worked below deck, in turbine, boiler and engine rooms, came into contact with asbestos-containing materials on a daily basis. On 19 April 1946, the SS W. P. Few was laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet in Mobile, Alabama. She was sold along with 35 other Liberty ships to Bethlehem Steel, for scrapping, on 18 September 1958.

High risk of asbestos exposure

  • Engine Rooms
  • Damage Control Room
  • Pump Room
  • Propulsion Room

Medium risk of asbestos exposure

  • Powder and Shot Magazine
  • Ward Room

Low risk of asbestos exposure

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