The USS Des Moines (CA-134) was a Des Moines-class heavy cruiser laid down on May 28, 1945, and launched on September 27, the following year. It was commissioned on November 16, 1948, under Capt. A. D. Chandler’s command as CA-134 and served in the U.S. Navy for 13 years until it was decommissioned on July 6, 1961. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 1,799 people on board and had its main missions in Norfolk, Newport News, Rijeka, Dubrovnik, Newport, and Lebanon. After decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy Register on July 9, 1991, and used as a museum in Quincy, Massachusetts since 1993.
Most of the health problems resulting from asbestos exposure have been experienced by former industrial workers and veterans whose jobs exposed them to asbestos in the air over a prolonged period with no respiratory protection and no personal protective equipment. Their jobs were likely to bring them into proximity to asbestos-containing materials and may sometimes require them to disturb these materials and products in the performance of maintenance activities.