SS William W. Loring Areas With Asbestos Exposure

SS William W. Loring

The SS William W. Loring, a Liberty ship was laid down on November 29, 1943, under a Maritime Commission contract by J.A. Jones Construction, Florida, and was launched on January 17, 1944.  The Liberty ships relied on asbestos-containing products such as boiler and steam pipe insulation, fireproofing material for bulkheads, brake linings in winches, and gaskets of valves and pipe fixtures during the construction and repair. The ship was allocated to T.J. Stevenson & Co., Inc., on March 7, 1944, and was laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Alabama on November 30, 1945. Before anybody fully recognized the health hazards connected with asbestos, this hazardous substance was utilized aboard ships for decades. Asbestos was utilized as insulation around boilers, fire doors, and fireboxes because it is extremely resistant to heat and fire. As technology improved and better ships were built, older ships with asbestos were phased out in a process known as "decommissioning". Shipyard employees were tasked with demolishing these ships, resulting in hazardous asbestos dust particles being dispersed into the air.

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