Suggested links

Coast Guard Cutters With Asbestos

Asbestos, a very durable but cancer-causing mineral, was used aboard all United States Coast Guard cutters through 1991. Any Coast Guard veteran who served aboard these cutters could have been exposed to asbestos, putting them at risk of cancers like mesothelioma later in life. We can help U.S. veterans who have mesothelioma after serving on cutters — learn how below.

Fact-Checked and Updated by: Jenna Tozzi, RN

Last updated:

Was Asbestos on Cutters?

Yes, asbestos-containing products were used on U.S. Coast Guard cutters from the 1930s to the early 1990s. Virtually every cutter built during this time had asbestos materials aboard.

Key Facts About Asbestos on Cutters

  • Uses: Insulation, fireproofing, soundproofing, and corrosion protection
  • Locations: Engines, boilers, gaskets, pumps, valves, and berthing spaces
  • Time span: Cutters built through 1991 contained asbestos-based products

Coast Guard veterans exposed to asbestos on cutters decades ago could now be at risk of mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses.

Mesothelioma Hope can help Coast Guard veterans with mesothelioma cancer access VA benefits, medical treatments, and legal compensation. Get started by downloading our Free Veterans Compensation Guide.

Mesothelioma veteran support guide
Free Downloadable GuideVeterans Compensation Guide
  • File for VA benefits
  • Increase your disability rating
  • Receive legal compensation

Get Your Free Guide

List of Coast Guard Cutters With Asbestos

Nearly 250 U.S. Coast Guard cutters were built with asbestos-containing products before the risks were known.

Examples of Coast Guard cutters that used asbestos include:

  • USCGC Absecon (WHEC-374)
  • USCGC Active (WMEC-618)
  • USCGC Acushnet (WMEC-167)
  • USCGC Alert (WMEC-630)
  • USCGC Androscoggin (WHEC-68)
  • USCGC Barataria (WHEC-381)
  • USCGC Bering Strait (WHEC-382)
  • USCGC Bibb (WPG-31)
  • USCGC Boutwell (WHEC-719)
  • USCGC Campbell (WPG-32)
  • USCGC Casco (WHEC-370)
  • USCGC Castle Rock (WHEC-383)
  • USCGC Chase (WHEC-718)
  • USCGC Chautauqua (WHEC-41)
  • USCGC Chincoteague (WHEC-375)
  • USCGC Confidence (WMEC-619)
  • USCGC Cook Inlet (WHEC-384)
  • USCGC Coos Bay (WHEC-376)
  • USCGC Courageous (WMEC-622)
  • USCGC Dallas (WHEC-716)
  • USCGC Dauntless (WMEC-624)
  • USCGC Decisive (WMEC-629)
  • USCGC Dependable (WMEC-626)
  • USCGC Dexter (WHEC-385)
  • USCGC Diligence (WMEC-616)
  • SCGC Duane (WPG-33)
  • USCGC Durable (WMEC-628)
  • USCGC Escanaba (WHEC-64)
  • USCGC Escape (WMEC-6)
  • USCGC Gallatin (WHEC-721)
  • USCGC Gresham (WHEC-387)
  • USCGC Haida (WPG-45)
  • USCGC Half Moon (WHEC-378)
  • USCGC Hamilton (WHEC-715)
  • USCGC Hamilton (WPG-34)
  • USCGC Humboldt (WHEC-372)
  • USCGC Ingham (WPG-35)
  • USCGC Iroquois (WHEC-43)
  • USCGC Jarvis (WHEC-725)
  • USCGC Klamath (WHEC-66)
  • USCGC Mackinac (WHEC-373)
  • USCGC Matagorda (WHEC-371)
  • USCGC McCulloch (WHEC-386)
  • USCGC Mellon (WHEC-717)
  • USCGC Mendota (WHEC-69)
  • USCGC Midgett (WHEC-726)
  • USCGC Minnetonka (WHEC-67)
  • USCGC Modoc (WPG-46)
  • USCGC Mojave (WPG-47)
  • USCGC Morgenthau (WHEC-70)
  • USCGC Munro (WHEC-724)
  • USCGC Owasco (WHEC-39)
  • USCGC Pontchartrain (WHEC-70)
  • USCGC Reliance (WMEC-615)
  • USCGC Resolute (WMEC-620)
  • USCGC Rockaway (WHEC-377)
  • USCGC Rush (WHEC-723)
  • USCGC Sebago (WHEC-42)
  • USCGC Sherman (WHEC-720)
  • USCGC Spencer (WPG-36)
  • USCGC Steadfast (WMEC-623)
  • USCGC Tampa (WPG-48)
  • USCGC Taney (WPG-37)
  • USCGC Unimak (WHEC-379)
  • USCGC Valiant (WMEC-621)
  • USCGC Venturous (WMEC-625)
  • USCGC Vigilant (WMEC-617)
  • USCGC Vigorous (WMEC-627)
  • USCGC Wachusett (WHEC-44)
  • USCGC Winnebago (WHEC-40)
  • USCGC Winona (WHEC-65)
  • USCGC Yakutat (WHEC-380)
  • USCGC Yocona (WMEC-168)

There are many other Coast Guard cutters not listed above confirmed to have used asbestos. Use our military ships search tool below to find out if any ships you served on contained asbestos.

Why Did the Coast Guard Use Asbestos on Cutters?

U.S Coast Guard cutters used asbestos since it was durable, lightweight, and inexpensive.

Asbestos helped keep Coast Guard cutters:

  • Fireproof
  • Safe from corrosion
  • Soundproof
  • Well-insulated

Asbestos-containing materials were also used aboard almost all U.S. Navy ships for the same reasons.

Crucially, U.S. military personnel and the general public didn’t know that asbestos could cause cancer. This is because manufacturers of asbestos-containing products hid the risks to make money.

After the deadly dangers came to light, major renovation projects were undertaken to remove asbestos on cutters and other military assets.

Still, it was too late for the millions of military service members already exposed. These veterans are at risk of mesothelioma today since this cancer can take 10-50 years to develop after asbestos exposure.

Where Was Asbestos Used on Coast Guard Cutters?

Asbestos-containing materials were used throughout cutters for durability and fireproofing purposes.

Coast guard cutters with asbestos used the substance in:

  • Boilers
  • Ceiling and floor tiles
  • Deck coverings
  • Electrical wiring
  • Engines
  • Gaskets
  • Pipe fittings
  • Roofing materials
  • Turbines
  • Valves

Working with or around these products could release asbestos fibers into the air. Coast Guard members who breathe in or swallow these fibers today could be at risk of asbestos-related diseases.

Mesothelioma Hope can help you get military benefits, treatments, and compensation if you served on a Coast Guard cutter with asbestos and now have mesothelioma. Contact us to learn more.

Who Was At Risk on Coast Guard Cutters With Asbestos?

Anyone who served on U.S. Coast Guard cutters with asbestos aboard could have been exposed.

This is because fibers released from working with asbestos-based products on cutters could remain airborne for hours. Coast Guard cutters had poor ventilation, and so the risk of exposure was very high.

That said, those at the greatest risk of exposure worked with or around asbestos materials every day as part of their on-ship duties.

Those at high risk on Coast Guard cutters with asbestos included:

  • Boiler room workers
  • Engine room workers
  • Hull technicians
  • Pipefitters
  • Plumbers
  • Shipyard workers and shipbuilders

Since the risks of asbestos exposure weren’t fully known for decades, these Coast Guard workers were never given protective equipment that could’ve kept them safe.

Compensation for Veterans Exposed to Asbestos on Cutters

You can pursue several different forms of compensation if you develop mesothelioma after serving on Coast Guard cutters. These include financial VA benefits, lawsuit payouts, and asbestos trust fund claims.

Learn more about these mesothelioma compensation options below.

VA Benefits

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers benefits to U.S. veterans with mesothelioma. For example, qualifying veterans can receive nearly $4,000 a month through VA disability compensation in 2024.

Other VA benefits available include:

  • Free or low-cost VA health care
  • In-home care services
  • Survivor benefits

Our team can help you file a mesothelioma VA claim or increase your monthly payout if you already have VA benefits. Get started right now by downloading our Free Veterans Compensation Guide.

Mesothelioma veteran support guide
Free Downloadable GuideVeterans Compensation Guide
  • File for VA benefits
  • Increase your disability rating
  • Receive legal compensation

Get Your Free Guide

Mesothelioma Lawsuits

You may qualify to secure financial payouts through mesothelioma lawsuits after a diagnosis. These lawsuits typically award $1 million or more.

You can still get VA benefits if you file a lawsuit, and no military branches will be sued. Instead, these lawsuits are filed against private companies that made asbestos-based products and hid the risks from the military and the public at large.

Call (866) 608-8933 to get help filing a mesothelioma lawsuit if you were diagnosed after serving on Coast Guard cutters with asbestos.

Our partner law firm has secured settlement compensation for veterans around the country, including $1.27 million for a Florida Navy veteran with peritoneal mesothelioma who worked as an electronics technician on the USS Escape.

Our legal partners can file a lawsuit on your behalf to help you pursue compensation for treatment, daily living expenses, and anything else your family needs.

Asbestos Trust Funds

Many asbestos companies filed for bankruptcy after facing mesothelioma lawsuits but were forced by the courts to set up asbestos trust funds.

Today, a total of over $30 billion is available in these bankruptcy trusts to victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

You may qualify to file trust fund claims if you served on Coast Guard cutters with asbestos and now have mesothelioma. See if you’re eligible right now.

a lawyer shares documents with a client
Access Asbestos
Trust Funds
  • More than $30 billion available
  • $300K-$400K average compensation
  • Get money in 90 days or less

Check If You Qualify

We Can Help Coast Guard Veterans With Mesothelioma

No U.S. veteran deserves to battle asbestos-related illnesses after protecting their country, but roughly 1,000 veterans are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year.

Mesothelioma Hope stands ready to help U.S. Coast Guard veterans who got sick after serving on cutters with asbestos. We have caring Patient Advocates, mesothelioma nurses, VA-accredited claims agents, and asbestos attorneys on staff to assist you and your loved ones.

Work with our team to access:

  • Benefits from the VA worth nearly $4,000 a month
  • Care from top VA doctors and hospitals
  • Legal compensation worth over $1 million

Get started by calling (866) 608-8933 for a free consultation, or download our Free Veterans Compensation Guide to explore your options.

Coast Guard Cutters With Asbestos FAQs

Which U.S. Coast Guard vessels had asbestos?

All Coast Guard cutters constructed prior to 1991 used asbestos.

If you served on any Coast Guard cutters with asbestos, you could be at risk of mesothelioma and other life-threatening illnesses today.

How much is the VA compensation for asbestos exposure?

The VA pays out nearly $4,000 each month to anyone who was exposed to asbestos while serving and now suffers from a serious illness like mesothelioma.

If you served on Coast Guard cutters with asbestos and now have mesothelioma, you may be able to file for VA benefits and get this monthly payout.

Call (866) 608-8933 to get help accessing mesothelioma VA compensation.

What workers are most at risk from asbestos?

Coast Guard workers who directly handled asbestos-containing products were at a very high risk of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma.

Those in danger included:

  • Boilermakers
  • Engine room workers
  • Plumbers and pipefitters

Coast Guard shipyard workers were also at a high risk because they had to install, remove, and repair asbestos-containing products every day.

If you worked on a Coast Guard vessel and now have mesothelioma, you may qualify for VA benefits and compensation.

Get our Free Veterans Compensation Guide now to learn more.

When did the military stop using asbestos?

The military stopped building Coast Guard cutters with asbestos in 1991.

Renovation projects were also taken to remove asbestos from Coast Guard cutters and many other vessels.

Is there still asbestos on Coast Guard ships?

Possibly. This is because it may not have been feasible to remove all asbestos-containing products from older Coast Guard cutters.

Asbestos-containing products don’t pose a threat to human health if they’re in good shape and haven’t been disturbed or damaged.

Nearly 250 Coast Guard cutters with asbestos were still in use as recently as 2017.

Jenna TozziWritten by:

Director of Patient Advocacy

Jenna Tozzi, RN, is the Director of Patient Advocacy at Mesothelioma Hope. With more than 15 years of experience as an adult and pediatric oncology nurse navigator, Jenna provides exceptional guidance and support to mesothelioma patients and their loved ones. Jenna has been featured in Oncology Nursing News and is a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators & the American Nurses Association.

Our Promise to You
Our Promise to You
References
  1. Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry. (2016, November 3). Health Effects of Asbestos. Retrieved May 17, 2024, from https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/asbestos/health_effects_asbestos.html
  2. Ham, W. (2019, October 1). Oldest U.S. Coast Guard cutter to turn 75 in November. Retrieved May 17, 2024, from <https://www.dvidshub.net/news/345032/oldest-us-coast-guard-cutter-turn-75-november
  3. Krstev, S.(2007). Mortality among shipyard Coast Guard workers: a retrospective cohort study. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved May 17, 2024, from hhttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17881470/
  4. U.S. Coast Guard. (2017). Coast Guard Cutters Constructed Prior to 1991 and in Service from 1990 to 2017. Retrieved May 17, 2024, from https://www.dcms.uscg.mil/Portals/10/CG-1/cg112/CG1121/docs/pdf/Coast%20Guard%20Cutters%20Constructed%20Prior%20to%201991%20and%20in%20Service%20from%201990%20to%202017.pdf?ver=2018-01-31-150240-237
  5. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2023, July 18). Veterans asbestos exposure. Retrieved May 17, 2024, from https://www.va.gov/disability/eligibility/hazardous-materials-exposure/asbestos/
Free 30-Minute ConversationWith Jenna Tozzi, RN
Fill Out Your Contact Information
How We Can Help

Mesothelioma Hope is passionate about helping patients and families affected by this aggressive cancer. A mesothelioma diagnosis can be scary and isolating, but we’re here for you at every step. Hope is only a phone call away.

(866) 608-8933
Medical Guidance
  • Get a second opinion
  • Find a doctor or cancer center
  • Access clinical trials
  • Improve your quality of life
Financial Assistance
  • Access $30 billion in trust funds
  • File a mesothelioma claim
  • Increase your VA benefits
  • Apply for travel grants
Supportive Care
  • Find a support group or peer mentor
  • Get help with daily tasks
  • Explore respite care options
  • Navigate life post-treatment