USS Sylvania (AFS-2) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Sylvania (AFS-2), a Mars-class combat stores ship, was laid down on 18 August 1962 at the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company in San Diego, California; launched on 10 August 1963; commissioned on 11 July 1964, with Captain Bernard A. Lienhard in command; and decommissioned on 26 May 1994. At the time of its commissioning, the USS Sylvania (AFS-2) was the second of a new class of combat store ships intended to integrate the tasks of the AF (store ship), AKS (stores issue ship), and AVS (aviation issue ship).

The USS Sylvania, like every other naval ship constructed before 1980, employed a lot of what we now identify as an exceedingly toxic substance, asbestos, for thermal insulation and many other applications. Making the most of asbestos' resistance to high temperatures, the mineral was utilized to cover onboard electrical cables as well as steam pipes, engines, and boilers. As medical records demonstrate, when asbestos fibers are inhaled, they get lodged within the human body, most typically around the lungs, abdomen, and heart, causing irritation until they reach a stage where they may develop into malignant tumors.

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Shipmates on USS Sylvania (AFS-2)