Former Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Employee Describes His Exposure to Asbestos Materials

Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation (also known as Todd Pacific Shipyard) is located in Harbor Island, across Elliot Bay from the downtown Seattle waterfront at 1801 16th Ave. In 1940, Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation received $9 million in government seed money to build a facility dedicated to making destroyer ships, including the USS Shelton and the USS Eversole. At one point, the shipyard employed 28,000 people. During World War II, Todd Dry Dock & Construction Company acquired the shipyard. The Navy sold the yard to the Port of Tacoma in 1959, and its site is now part of the port's Commencement Bay Industrial Development District. Today, the site is known as Vigor Shipyards. It continues to be a leading regional shipyard at Harbor Island where it has a reputation for commercial, Navy and Coast Guard construction, modernization and repair.

Prior to federal regulations placed on asbestos in the late 1970s, shipyards used asbestos during the construction and repair of naval vessels. During construction and maintenance of ships, insulators, electricians, plumbers, welders and pipefitters may have been exposed to asbestos-containing materials, such as pipe insulation, gaskets, cement, and block insulation. Those who also worked near or in the vicinity of those who repaired and maintained asbestos-containing materials were also at risk for exposure to asbestos fibers. As insulators applied insulation to hot equipment, such as pipes and boilers, laborers may have been exposed to asbestos dust.

Engine rooms aboard naval vessels typically had poor ventilation. Inhaling dust and particles from the application and removal of asbestos-containing materials placed workers at risk for developing serious health problems, such as mesothelioma or lung cancer. Even those who were not in direct contact with asbestos materials remain at risk for the development of asbestos-related diseases.

If you or a loved one were once employed at Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation on Harbor Island near Seattle, Washington, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, please contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation.