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Aircraft carriers, which are critical for transporting and deploying aircrafts by sea during wartime, were once made with asbestos. Built in the early- to mid-twentieth century, the carriers favored asbestos for its heat-resistant properties. The carriers served in World War II, as well as the Korean War, Vietnam War and Cold War, though some date back as early as 1922 and as late as 2015. Since fires had the potential to occur frequently on these ships, they were typically insulated with asbestos, and some passengers even wore asbestos suits to extract pilots when a fire or crash occurred on the deck.

Because of the wide use of asbestos, veterans who served on these ships were at a high risk of exposure, and as a result, account for about 30% of mesothelioma diagnoses today. Threats of exposure continue from these ships for shipyard workers today, as these World War II ships continue to be retired or repaired for historical purposes.


NameCommissionedClassStatus
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72)1989NimitzActive
USS America (CV-66)1965Kitty HawkScuttled
USS Antietam (CV-36)1945EssexScrapped
USS Bataan (CVL-29)1943IndependenceScrapped
USS Belleau Wood (CVL-24)1943IndependenceScrapped
USS Bennington (CV-20)1944EssexScrapped
USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31)1944EssexScrapped
USS Boxer (CV-21)1945EssexScrapped
USS Bunker Hill (CV-17)1943EssexScrapped
USS Cabot (CVL-28)1943IndependenceScrapped
USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70)1981NimitzActive
USS Constellation (CV-64)1961Kitty HawkTo be scuttled
USS Coral Sea (CVB-43)1947MidwayScrapped
USS Cowpens (CVL-25)1943IndependenceScrapped
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69)1977NimitzActive
USS Enterprise (CV-6)1938YorktownScrapped
USS Enterprise (CVN-65)1961EnterpriseActive
USS Essex (CV-9)1942EssexScrapped
USS Forrestal (CV-59)1955ForrestalTo be scuttled
USS Franklin (CV-13)1944EssexScrapped
USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB-42)1945MidwayScrapped
USS George HW Bush (CVN-77)2009NimitzActive
USS George Washington (CVN-73)1992NimitzActive
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78)2015FordKeel laid
USS Hancock (CV-19)1944EssexScrapped
USS Harry S Truman (CVN-75)1998NimitzActive
USS Hornet (CV-8)1941YorktownSunk
USS Hornet (CV-12)1943EssexMuseum
USS Independence (CVL-22)1943IndependenceScuttled
USS Independence (CV-62)1959ForrestalTo be scuttled
USS Intrepid (CV-11)1943EssexMuseum
USS Iwo Jima (CV-46)CancelledEssexCancelled
USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74)1995NimitzActive
USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67)1968KennedyDecommissioned
USS Kearsarge (CV-33)1946EssexScrapped
USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63)1961Kitty HawkDecommissioned
USS Lake Champlain (CV-39)1945EssexScrapped
USS Langley (CV-1)1922LangleySunk
USS Langley (CVL-27)1943IndependenceScrapped
USS Lexington (CV-2)1927LexingtonSunk
USS Lexington (CV-16)1943EssexMuseum
USS Leyte (CV-32)1946EssexScrapped
USS Midway (CVB-41)1945MidwayMuseum
USS Monterey (CVL-26)1943IndependenceScrapped
USS Nimitz (CVN-68)1975NimitzActive
USS Oriskany (CV-34)1950EssexScuttled
USS Philippine Sea (CV-47)1946EssexScrapped
USS Princeton (CVL-23)1943IndependenceSunk
USS Princeton (CV-37)1945EssexScrapped
USS Randolph (CV-15)1944EssexScrapped
USS Ranger (CV-4)1934RangerScrapped
USS Ranger (CV-61)1957ForrestalOn donation hold
USS Reprisal (CV-35)CancelledEssexCancelled
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76)2003NimitzActive
USS Saipan (CVL-48)1946SaipanScrapped
USS San Jacinto (CVL-30)1943IndependenceScrapped
USS Saratoga (CV-3)1927LexingtonSunk
USS Saratoga (CV-60)1956ForrestalDecommissioned
USS Shangri-la (CV-38)1944EssexScrapped
USS Tarawa (CV-40)1945EssexScrapped
USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71)1986NimitzActive
USS Ticonderoga (CV-14)1944EssexScrapped
USS Valley Forge (CV-45)1946EssexScrapped
USS Wasp (CV-7)1940WaspSunk
USS Wasp (CV-18)1943EssexScrapped
USS Wright (CVL-49)1946SaipanScrapped
USS Yorktown (CV-5)1937YorktownSunk
USS Yorktown (CV-10))1943EssexMuseum

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