USS Interpreter (AGR-14) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

USS Interpreter (AGR-14)

The USS Interpreter (AGR-14) was a radar picket ship that was in the service of the US Navy during World War II. The ship was originally built as the Liberty Ship SS Dudley H. Thomas was under contract for the WSA and operated throughout the war as an aircraft freighter and cargo ship, but it was later converted to a livestock ship and used as part of the Heifers for Relief project, where it was responsible for delivering livestock across the Atlantic. Once the war relief work was finished, the ship was placed in the reserve fleet for a short period because its service was needed once again in the Korean War. The ship was sold for scrapping in November 1974. When asbestos is disturbed by installation, maintenance, or removal, it creates an unseen danger as it sheds fibers that float in the air. The crew members of Navy ships built prior to 1980 inhaled high concentrations of toxic dust in the enclosed spaces of these vessels. Those who lived and worked on Navy ships were not given any safety equipment to guard themselves against these dangerous fibers, partly because few knew the dangers of the substance at the time. Prolonged exposure to asbestos has been linked to the development of deadly diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

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Shipmates on USS Interpreter (AGR-14)