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Asbestos on Patrol Boats

Like most U.S. Navy ships built before the 1980s, patrol boats contained many asbestos products that put those onboard at risk for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Asbestos could be found in various components such as insulation, gaskets, pipes, and valves. See if Mesothelioma Hope can help you or a loved one get benefits and compensation for mesothelioma from asbestos on patrol boats.

Fact-Checked and Updated by: Jenna Tozzi, RN

Last updated:

Was There Asbestos on Patrol Boats?

Yes, similar to other naval vessels, patrol boats were built using asbestos products for much of the 20th century.

A U.S. Navy Fast Patrol Boat (PTF), "Nasty", cruises at medium speed during a run from the naval amphibious base in Little Creek, Virginia
USN 1157722 Patrol Boat

Asbestos ensured that patrol boats were durable, fire-resistant, and well-insulated. However, the cancer-causing mineral also posed a health risk to anyone who unknowingly breathed in or swallowed its microscopic fibers.

Asbestos companies knew about the health risks connected to their products, but they kept quiet to keep making money.

Today, many veterans are being diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses like mesothelioma due to asbestos on patrol boats and other Navy vessels.

Key Facts About Asbestos on Patrol Boats

  • Exposure dangers: Asbestos-related illnesses like asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma
  • Products: Asbestos insulation, boiler room equipment, gaskets, tiling, insulation, and many other materials
  • Purpose: Thermal insulation, fireproofing, corrosion prevention, and more
  • Who was at risk: U.S. Navy and Coast Guard personnel, shipyard workers, and others who built, maintained, or served on these boats

Our team can help eligible veterans seek military benefits, legal compensation, and health care services if they were exposed to asbestos on patrol boats and now have mesothelioma.

Download our Free Veterans Compensation Guide to learn more.

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  • Access $30+ billion in trust funds
  • File a VA claim
  • Receive legal compensation

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List of U.S. Patrol Craft That Used Asbestos

Thousands of patrol boats contained asbestos, including many that were active during World War II.

Some patrol vessels that used asbestos included:

  • PC Patrol Craft Coastal
  • PC Submarine Chaser (173’)
  • PCE Patrol Craft Escort
  • PCER Patrol Craft Rescue Escort
  • PCH Submarine Chaser (Hydrofoil)
  • PCS Patrol Craft Sweeper
  • PE Eagle Class Patrol Vessel
  • PF Patrol Frigate
  • PG Gunboat
  • PGH Gunboat (Hydrofoil)
  • PGM Motor Gunboat
  • PHM Patrol Combatant-Missile (Hydrofoil)
  • PR River Gunboat
  • PT Motor Torpedo Boat
  • PTC Motor Boat Submarine Chasers
  • PY Patrol Yacht
  • PY Coastal Patrol Yacht
  • SC Submarine Chaser (110’)

The use of asbestos wasn’t limited to the patrol craft listed above. Many other patrol boats and Navy ships contained asbestos.

Use our search tool below to see if a ship you served on used asbestos.

What Asbestos Products Were Used on Patrol Boats?

Asbestos-containing products were used throughout patrol boats, which made the exposure risk high for crew members.

Common asbestos products found on patrol boats included:

  • Boilers
  • Deck and flooring
  • Engines
  • Gaskets
  • Insulation
  • Pipe coverings
  • Turbines
  • Valves
  • Wiring

As asbestos-containing materials were installed, repaired, or removed, they could emit tiny asbestos fibers into the air.

U.S. Coast Guard and Navy veterans who handled or worked near these products could have breathed in or swallowed these fibers. As a result, they are at risk of developing asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma 10-50 years later.

Since patrol boats were small and had poor ventilation, anyone on the vessel could have been exposed.

Who Was Exposed to Asbestos on Patrol Boats?

While all U.S. veterans who served on patrol boats built before the 1980s may have been exposed to asbestos, those who worked directly with asbestos products were at the greatest risk of exposure.

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

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

Anyone working in these jobs may have unknowingly breathed in asbestos dust while handling these dangerous products.

How to Get Compensation for Exposure to Asbestos on Patrol Boats

If you served on a Coast Guard or Navy patrol boat and now have mesothelioma, you may be entitled to benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as well as other types of financial compensation.

Three compensation options for affected veterans include:

  1. VA benefits: U.S. veterans with mesothelioma typically qualify for a 100% disability rating, which is worth almost $4,000 in monthly disability payouts for 2024. They may also be eligible for free or low-cost medical treatments through the VA and other benefits.
  2. Asbestos trust funds: Some asbestos companies filed for bankruptcy to avoid being sued but were court-ordered to put aside money for present and future victims. Over $30 billion is currently available in these trust funds.
  3. Mesothelioma lawsuits: Mesothelioma lawsuits are filed against the negligent asbestos companies responsible for making you sick and award $1 million or more on average. The U.S. military or government is never sued, and you can still file for VA benefits if you file a lawsuit.

Mesothelioma Hope can help you file a VA claim or increase your benefits after a diagnosis. We can also connect you with top mesothelioma lawyers who may be able to take legal action on your behalf and file a lawsuit and asbestos trust fund claims for you.

Learn about all the ways we can assist you 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

We Can Help Patrol Boat Veterans With Mesothelioma

Patrol boat veterans put their lives on the line as they served and protected their country. As a result, they deserve access to the best medical care, legal help, and financial assistance possible.

Mesothelioma Hope is proud to help veterans harmed by asbestos on patrol boats.

Our team of mesothelioma nurses, Patient Advocates, and VA-accredited claims agents is standing by ready to help you or a loved one connect with military, medical, and financial resources right now.

Get our Free Veterans Compensation Guide or call (866) 608-8933 to speak with us right now.

Asbestos on Patrol Boats FAQs

What are patrol boats made of?

Patrol boats built before the 1980s typically contained numerous asbestos-containing parts like gaskets, pipe insulation, pumps, turbines, and valves.

Military vessels were no exception, as patrol boats, aircraft carriers, auxiliary ships, battleships, and other ships were routinely constructed with asbestos products.

This put U.S. Navy veterans and Coast Guard veterans who served on these ships at risk of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses.

When did the military stop using asbestos?

The U.S. military stopped using asbestos to build new ships and other structures by the late 1970s into the early 1980s.

However, naval ships and other military assets constructed in earlier years still contained hundreds of asbestos-containing products that posed health risks to Navy personnel and other service members.

Can you sue the Navy for asbestos exposure?

No, you can’t sue the U.S. Navy or government for asbestos exposure during your military service.

However, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the companies that exposed you to asbestos through their products and caused you to develop mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness.

A mesothelioma law firm can review your case for free and help you take legal action if you qualify.

Can you get VA benefits for asbestos exposure on patrol boats?

Yes, U.S. veterans who were exposed to asbestos on patrol boats and later developed mesothelioma may be eligible for benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The VA awards almost $4,000 a month to married veterans with this cancer as of 2024 in most cases.

Mesothelioma Hope can help you file a claim for benefits or increase the benefits you already receive. Call our team right now at (866) 608-8933 to get started.

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. Lemen, R. A., & Landrigan, P. J. (2021). Sailors and the Risk of Asbestos-Related Cancer. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(16), 8417. Retrieved May 16, 2024, from
  2. National Archives. (2022, March 2). Researching Asbestos aboard US Naval Vessel up through 1961. Retrieved May 16, 2024, from
  3. National Cancer Institute. (2022, December 5). Asbestos. Retrieved May 16, 2024, from
  4. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2023, July 18). Veterans asbestos exposure. Retrieved May 16, 2024, from
  5. USNI News. (2020, November 30). UPDATED: Notable U.S. Navy Ships Lost Since World War II. Retrieved May 16, 2024, from
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