M. M. Flechas Shipyard was founded in 1900. Asbestos was utilized at the majority of shipyards, including M. M. Flechas Shipyard. All US Navy ships constructed before 1980 contained the cancer-causing mineral asbestos. Because it was inexpensive, water-resistant, and excellent fireproofing material, the government ordered that it be used on all Navy vessels, including aircraft carriers, submarines, destroyers, tankers, freighters, and cargo ships. Consequently, asbestos was presumably inhaled by every sailor or crew member who served on these ships. Those who have worked at shipyards that have confirmed the use of asbestos, such as M. M. Flechas Shipyard may also be at risk of developing lung cancer, mesothelioma, or another asbestos-related disease.