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Asbestos on Frigates

Almost all U.S. Navy frigates were built with asbestos-containing products before the early 1980s, when the dangers of asbestos became widely known. This put service members at risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases later in life. Learn more about asbestos on frigates and how to get military benefits and compensation for mesothelioma.

Fact-Checked and Updated by: Jenna Tozzi, RN

Last updated:

Did the Navy Use Asbestos on Frigates?

Yes, the U.S. Navy relied on asbestos-based products to keep its frigates and thousands of other naval vessels seaworthy.

Companies that made and sold asbestos products knew about the risks, but they hid this information to keep making money. As result, millions of U.S. veterans were exposed to this cancer-causing mineral.

Key Facts: Asbestos on Frigates

  • Location: Asbestos could be from stem to stern, including on the deck and in the boiler room and operations room.
  • Products: Hundreds of frigate components like gaskets, pumps, and valves contained asbestos.
  • Purpose: Asbestos on frigates served as a fireproofing, insulating, and corrosion-resistant material.
  • Related diseases: Veterans exposed to asbestos are at risk of developing mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis.

Today, one-third of all mesothelioma patients are veterans.

Mesothelioma Hope can help veterans and their loved ones pursue military benefits and financial aid for mesothelioma from asbestos on frigates. Get started by downloading our Free Veterans Compensation Guide.

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  • File a VA claim
  • Receive legal compensation

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List of Frigates That Used Asbestos

Over 100 Navy frigates were built with asbestos before the hazards were made public.

These asbestos-containing frigates included:

  • USS Ainsworth (FFT-1090)
  • USS Albert David (FF-1050)
  • USS Antrim (FFG-20)
  • USS Aubrey Fitch (FFG-34)
  • USS Aylwin (FF-1081)
  • USS Badger (FF-1071)
  • USS Bagley (FF-1069)
  • USS Barbey (FF-1088)
  • USS Blakely (FF-1072)
  • USS Boone (FFG-28)
  • USS Bowen ​​(FFT-1079)
  • USS Bradley (FF-1041)
  • USS Brewton (FF-1086)
  • USS Bronstein (FF-1037)
  • USS Brooke (FFG-1)
  • USS Brumby (FF-1044)
  • USS Capodanno (FF-1093)
  • USS Clark (FFG-11)
  • USS Clifton Sprague (FFG-16)
  • USS Connole (FF-1056)
  • USS Cook (FF-1083)
  • USS Copeland (FFG-25)
  • USS Crommelin (FFG-37)
  • USS Curts (FFG-38)
  • USS Davidson (FF-1045)
  • USS De Wert (FFG 45)
  • USS Donald B. Beary (FFT-1085)
  • USS Downes (FF-1070)
  • USS Doyle (FFG-39)
  • USS Duncan (FFG-10)
  • USS Edward McDonnell (FF-1043)
  • USS Elmer Montgomery (FF-1082)
  • USS Estocin (FFG-15)
  • USS Fahrion (FFG-22)
  • USS Fanning (FF-1076)
  • USS Flatley (FFG-21)
  • USS Francis Hammond (FF-1067)
  • USS Gallery (FFG-26)
  • USS Garcia (FF-1040)
  • USS Gary (FFG-51)
  • USS George Philip (FFG-12)
  • USS Glover (AGFF-1)
  • USS Gray (FF-1054)
  • USS Halyburton (FFG-40)
  • USS Harold E. Holt (FF-1074)
  • USS Hepburn ​​(FF-1055)
  • USS Ingraham (FFG-61)
  • USS Jack Williams (FFG-24)
  • USS Jarrett (FFG-33)
  • USS Jesse L. Brown (FFT-1089)
  • USS John A. Moore (FFG-19)
  • USS John L. Hall (FFG-32)
  • USS Joseph Hewes (FFT-1078)
  • USS Julius A. Furer (FFG-6)
  • USS Kauffman (FFG-59)
  • USS Kirk (FF-1087)
  • USS Klakring (FFG-42)
  • USS Knox (FF-1052)
  • USS Koelsch (FF-1049)
  • USS Lang (FF-1060)
  • USS Lewis B. Puller (FFG-23)
  • USS Lockwood (FF-1064)
  • USS Mahlon S. Tisdale (FFG-27)
  • USS Marvin Shields (FF-1066)
  • USS McCandless ​​(FFT-1084)
  • USS McCloy (FF-1038)
  • USS McClusky (FFG-41)
  • USS McInerney (FFG-8)
  • USS Meyerkord (FF-1058)
  • USS Miller (FF-1091)
  • USS Moinester (FFT-1097)
  • USS Nicholas (FFG-47)
  • USS O’Callahan (FF-1051)
  • USS Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7)
  • USS Ouellet (FF-1077)
  • USS Patterson (FF-1061)
  • USS Paul (FF-1080)
  • USS Pharris (FF-1094)
  • USS Ramsey (FFG-2)
  • USS Rathburne (FF-1057)
  • USS Reasoner (FF-1063)
  • USS Reid (FFG-30)
  • USS Rentz (FFG-46)
  • USS Richard L. Page (FFG-5)
  • USS Roark (FF-1053)
  • USS Robert E. Peary (FF-1073)
  • USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG-49)
  • USS Sample (FF-1048)
  • USS Samuel Eliot Morison (FFG-13)
  • USS Schofield (FFG-3)
  • USS Sides (FFG-14)
  • USS Stark (FFG 31)
  • USS Stein (FF-1065)
  • USS Stephen W. Groves (FFG-29)
  • USS Talbot (FFG-4)
  • USS Taylor (FFG-50)
  • USS Thach (FFG-43)
  • USS Thomas C. Hart (FF-1092)
  • USS Trippe (FF-1075)
  • USS Truett (FFT-1095)
  • USS Underwood (FFG-36)
  • USS Valdez (FF-1096)
  • USS Vandegrift (FFG-48)
  • USS Voge (FF-1047)
  • USS Vreeland (FF-1068)
  • USS W. S. Sims (FF-1059)
  • USS Wadsworth (FFG-9)
  • USS Whipple (FF-1062)

Asbestos posed a risk to everyone onboard Navy ships, regardless of the type of vessel. Use our search tool to see if you served on a ship that had asbestos.

Where Was Asbestos Used in Frigates?

Asbestos-based materials helped fireproof U.S. Navy frigates and made them resistant to corrosion from salt water.

Asbestos on frigates could be found in products such as:

  • Boilers
  • Deck and flooring
  • Engine room components
  • Insulation
  • Piping
  • Pumps
  • Valves
  • Wiring

When these products were installed, serviced, or removed, tiny asbestos fibers could be released and breathed in or swallowed by Navy personnel and shipyard workers. Like other Navy vessels, frigates often had poor ventilation, so these fibers could linger in the air for hours.

Navy veterans exposed to asbestos on frigates are at risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses like mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis 10-50 later.

Who Was Exposed to Asbestos on Frigates?

Any U.S. Navy veteran who served on a frigate prior to the early 1980s may have been exposed to asbestos. However, service members who handled asbestos products on a daily basis faced the greatest risk.

Veterans who served in these roles had a high risk of asbestos exposure:

  • Boiler tenders
  • Electricians
  • Engine room workers
  • Insulators
  • Machinist’s mates
  • Mechanics
  • Pipefitters
  • Shipyard workers

Compensation for Exposure to Asbestos on Frigates

U.S. veterans with mesothelioma from asbestos use on frigates may be eligible for benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in addition to other types of financial aid.

Three top compensation options for affected veterans are:

  1. VA benefits: U.S. veterans with mesothelioma typically get a 100% disability rating, which qualifies them for almost $4,000 in monthly payouts in 2024. They may also be able to access free or low-cost treatments through the VA and other benefits.
  2. Asbestos trust funds: Some bankrupt asbestos companies established trust funds to pay those harmed by their products. Today, there’s more than $30 billion available in 60+ trusts. Many veterans may be owed compensation from multiple trusts.
  3. Mesothelioma lawsuits: Successful mesothelioma lawsuits allow victims to hold asbestos companies liable and get compensation. Most settle for $1 million or more, allowing veterans to secure life-changing financial aid without suing the U.S. government or military or affecting their VA benefits.

Mesothelioma Hope can help you file a VA claim or increase your benefits after a diagnosis. We can also connect you with a top mesothelioma law firm that can review your case and pursue asbestos trust fund and mesothelioma lawsuit payouts on your behalf.

Did You Know?

Our legal partners have years of experience recovering compensation for veterans, including $2 million for a North Carolina boiler room technician with mesothelioma linked to his military service on the USS Bryce Canyon and USS Stein.

Learn about all of your options in our Free Veterans Compensation Guide.

Mesothelioma veteran support guide
Free Downloadable GuideVeterans Compensation Guide
  • Access $30+ billion in trust funds
  • File a VA claim
  • Receive legal compensation

Get Your Free Guide

Help for Navy Veterans Exposed to Asbestos on Frigates

U.S. Navy veterans who served aboard frigates protected their country with pride. They anticipated danger from enemy warcraft, but not from the vessels they worked and lived on.

Mesothelioma Hope is proud to help Navy veterans harmed by asbestos on frigates get the justice and compensation they deserve.

Our team of VA-accredited agents, Patient Advocates, and nurses is ready to connect you or a loved one with top military, medical, and financial resources to help you move forward after a diagnosis.

Download our Free Veterans Compensation Guide or call (866) 608-8933 to speak to one of our team members.

Asbestos on Frigates FAQs

Is there asbestos on ships?

Even though the U.S. Navy stopped using asbestos products to build frigates and other ships in the early 1980s, there may still be asbestos on older vessels.

However, steps have been taken to contain any remaining asbestos so that it doesn’t pose a threat to human health.

Does the military still use asbestos?

No, the U.S. military no longer uses asbestos-containing products to build assets like ships, vehicles, and bases.

Even the U.S. Navy, which relied on asbestos to keep its vessels safe from fire and corrosion, now uses safer products in the shipbuilding process.

What was asbestos used for on ships?

Asbestos was primarily used to keep Navy ships safe from fire and corrosion from salt water.

Asbestos products could be found throughout frigates and other naval vessels. For example, boilers, insulation, engines, gaskets, pumps, and turbines often contained asbestos.

Due to safety regulations, modern-day ships no longer use asbestos.

Which U.S. Navy ships had asbestos?

Thousands of U.S. Navy ships had asbestos aboard, including over 100 frigates.

U.S. Navy frigates that used asbestos included: 

  • USS Ainsworth (FFT-1090)
  • USS Brooke (FFG-1)
  • USS Donald B. Beary (FFT-1085)
  • USS Lewis B. Puller (FFG-23)
  • USS Schofield (FFG-3)
  • USS Whipple (FF-1062)

Get our Free Veterans Compensation Guide for help pursuing VA benefits if you developed mesothelioma from asbestos on frigates.

Can you sue the Navy for asbestos exposure on frigates?

No, you can’t sue the Navy for asbestos exposure sustained while serving on a frigate or any other Navy vessel.

However, if you were exposed to asbestos on frigates and later developed mesothelioma or a related disease, you may be able to take legal action against the asbestos companies responsible for your illness.

Mesothelioma Hope can connect you with top mesothelioma lawyers near you and help you access other resources like military benefits and medical treatment. Call our team at (866) 608-8933 to see how we can be of assistance.

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.

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  1. Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry. (2016, November 3). Health Effects of Asbestos. Retrieved May 17, 2024, from
  2. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2023, July 18). Veterans asbestos exposure. Retrieved May 17, 2024, from
  3. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. (2022, March 2). Researching Asbestos aboard US Naval Vessels up through 1961. Retrieved May 17, 2024, from
  4. U.S. Naval Institute. (2020, August). Moving Ships through the Water. Retrieved May 17, 2024, from
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