Key Highway Shipyard was an important part of Baltimore's shipbuilding sector from the 1820s until 1982. In 1921, the shipyard was purchased by the Bethlehem Steel Company. Key Highway Shipyard was transformed into a repair facility at that time. Over the course of World War II, Key Highway Shipyard repaired more than 2,500 ships and employed more than 11,000 people. During World War II, asbestos-containing products were also widely used in shipbuilding. Many shipyard employees were exposed to asbestos, which placed them at risk of developing lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other ailments.