The Kaiser Company constructed The Swan Island Shipyard in 1942 as an emergency yard. Before the opening of the shipyard, Swan Island was the location of the Swan Island Municipal Airport. The Swan Island Shipyard was one of the four shipyards in the United States specifically designed to produce T2 tankers in World War II. The completed shipyard had a total of eight shipways. Unfortunately, asbestos was used in numerous buildings and workplaces, boilers, turbines, pumps, gaskets, and cement insulation. Workers at the shipyard were exposed to asbestos through inhalation. Another workforce group exposed to asbestos were the longshoremen, often subjected to asbestos exposure when loading and unloading these U.S. Navy or commercial vessels.