USNS Huntsville (T-AGM-7) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USNS Huntsville (T-AGM-7) was a Watertown-class Missile Range Instrumentation ship laid down on March 2, 1945, as SS Knox Victory. The ship was launched on April 13, the same year. It was acquired by the U.S. Navy on August 11, 1960, and placed in service as USNS Huntsville (T-AGM-7)  in 1961. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 56 people on board and had acted as a missile tracking ship until it was struck from the Navy List on November 8, 1974. Most of the asbestos exposure aboard this ship occurred in engineering spaces and boiler rooms. The ship was finally placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet but its ultimate fate is not known. Although the Navy surgeon general warned of the risks of asbestos exposure in 1939, asbestos was extensively utilized in shipbuilding — for at least another 40 years. Thousands of tons of asbestos-containing insulating materials were used on all classes of US Navy vessels home-ported and repaired at the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation, Portland Oregon. These asbestos-containing products included asbestos pads, felt, and fabric, as well as asbestos pipe coverings and cement, as well as asbestos gaskets and packaging. Until the 1980s, a Navy ship's equipment and pipes were completely insulated with asbestos.

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