USS Breton (CVE-10) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Breton (CVE-10) was an Attacker-class escort carrier laid down on June 28, 1941, and launched on February 15, 1943. It was commissioned on April 9, 1943, as HMS Chaser with the hull number D-32 under the United Kingdom’s flag and served in the Royal Navy for 3 years until it was decommissioned on May 12, 1946. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 646 men on board. After the decommissioning, the ship was transferred back to the USA and struck from the Navy Register the same year and sold for scrapping in 1972 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

The military insisted on using asbestos in hundreds of applications in military settings, particularly aboard Navy ships. At the time, asbestos was considered to be an ideal material for multiple uses in ships: insulation, concrete, floor tiles, wall panels, fireproofing materials, protective gear, and others. Asbestos was used because it was a relatively affordable insulating material, lightweight, strong, flexible, and able to resist heat and fire.

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