Dyer Shipyard is an Oregon facility which offers repair, restoration, and vessel building services for commercial and private concerns, as well as government clients. As one of Oregon’s major shipyards, Dyer Shipyard has employed thousands of men and women over the years to perform specialized and general repair, restoration, and construction work of a large variety of marine vessels.
Like other men and women employed in the shipbuilding and repair industries, many of these workers worked on a regular basis with materials and parts composed largely of asbestos.
Asbestos is a fibrous, silica-based mineral which occurs plentifully in nature. With naturally high resistance to heat and corrosive damage caused by moisture, asbestos was long considered a highly desirable material in the manufacture of marine vessels and parts, where variations in temperature and moisture levels are a regular part of the environment. Asbestos is also flexible and strong, allowing it to be molded into a variety of forms.
In the marine industry, asbestos was used in literally thousands of products, including valves, gaskets, boilers, turbines, electrical systems, coatings, insulation, electrical components, propulsion systems, and floor and ceiling tiles. Workers in the shipbuilding and repair industries were exposed to the fibers in a regular basis, as construction and repair procedures regularly released tiny particles into the air. Once inhaled, these particles lodge permanently in the lungs and other organs, where they can cause potentially fatal conditions such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.
The effects of asbestos exposure can take several decades to become apparent, and the initial symptoms of malignant mesothelioma may mimic those of a common cold. There is no cure for asbestos-related health conditions, but individuals suffering from exposure to asbestos may be able to participate in certain therapies which can provide some temporary relief.
If you or a loved one worked for Dyer Shipyard, you should speak with your health care professional about the possible risks of that exposure as mesothelioma navy cases are most common.