The USS Tarawa (CV/CVA/CVS-40, AVT-12) - another ship which is likely to have contained asbestos in its components, was an Essex-class Aircraft Carrier, built at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia, with the hull number CV-40. It was commissioned in 1945 and was in active service for 15 years before being decommissioned in 1960. The ship measured 888 feet in length and carried almost 3,500 men and between 90 and 100 aircraft.
Because asbestos was used in virtually every military application where insulation or fireproofing was required, millions of Navy veterans were placed in dangerous environments every day. Before the dangers of asbestos became widely known, the long and thin fibrous crystals were worked into over 300 military products that were constantly being handled by military personnel of all ranks. Breathing in air containing asbestos fibers can cause scarring of the lungs, which in time leads to cancers of the lungs and chest lining.