Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, Staten Island, NY

History of the Bethlehem Steel Shipyard

Bethlehem Steel Staten Island was located along the northern shore at Mariners Harbor in the southern part of Newark Bay. It is commonly referred to as Beth Steel.” The shipyard opened in 1889 when Burlee Drydock and Port Richmond Iron Works mergeed into one company. The first two Mahan-class war ships — USS Mahan and USS Cummings — were created there in 1935. USS Fanning and USS. Dunlap were developed one year later.

Bethlehem Steel purchased the shipyard in 1938 and became a crucial part of America’s World War II efforts. The company would build at least 40 more destroyers from 1939 to 1945, along with several cargo ships, tugs, and landing crafts. Some of these vast ships, including the USS Shea, were constructed in less than six months.

Beth Steel Staten Island experienced a major drop in production after the war but picked back up slightly when the Korean War effort commenced in the early 1950s. The company ceased operations completely in 1960.

Bethlehem Shipyard and Asbestos

The Great Depression brought with is mass unemployment across the country, with New York City being no exception. Beth Steel Staten Island provided employment opportunities for thousands of men and women. Shipyard workers frequently worked with asbestos-containing equipment and materials.

The engine and boiler rooms were especially high asbestos exposure areas. Maintenance mechanics and steamfitters were some of the more vulnerable workers due to the use of asbestos in equipment. Those also at high risk of exposure include:

If you have been exposed to asbestos, watch for mesothelioma symptoms for minor colds or viruses that last for more than a week. These are typical long-term symptoms seen in mesothelioma patients:

  • Persistent coughing, particularly with blood
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest or abdominal pain
  • Night sweats
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fever
  • Fatigue

Consult a doctor about these symptoms, and mention that you worked with or near asbestos.

What You Can Do If Diagnosed With Mesothelioma

If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma or some other asbestos-related condition, contact Belluck & Fox, LLP, today. The firm is nationally recognized and award-winning with experience working with people who have mesothelioma and lung cancer. The firm has over 20 years of experience litigating asbestos-related claims and has won over $600 million in jury verdicts and settlements.