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General Dynamics Electric Boat

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electric boat

Established in 1899, Electric Boat builds submarines for the United States Navy. The company’s primary operations are a shipyard in Groton, Connecticut, a hull fabrication and outfitting facility in Quonset Point, Rhode Island, and an engineering office in New London, Connecticut.

Electric Boat used large amounts of asbestos-containing materials in its submarines until the 1970s. Clinical examinations of Electric Boat workers in the Groton shipyard by famed asbestos researcher Dr. Irving J. Selikoff found that about half of the workers had abnormalities characteristic of asbestos exposure. Many former Electric Boat shipyard workers have filed lawsuits seeking compensation from asbestos companies that supplied asbestos to Electric Boat.

Belluck & Fox is a New York mesothelioma law firm with a national reputation for excellence in asbestos law. We travel around the country to meet with mesothelioma patients and help them hold asbestos companies accountable. If you served on a Navy submarine or worked at Electric Boat and have now been diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis, contact us to schedule a free case review.

Asbestos Use and the Navy

Asbestos was used in Navy submarines and other military vessels due to the material’s light weight and high insulation. By the time the U.S. entered World War II, asbestos and asbestos-containing products were critical to the naval fleet. Asbestos insulation was used on external surfaces of a ship’s steam propulsion systems. Asbestos insulation was also used in gaskets and other components of the propulsion system.

Each naval submarine contained approximately 60,000 pounds of asbestos thermal insulation. Asbestos insulation and other asbestos-containing materials in Navy submarines could be found in areas that included:

  • Boilers, turbines, pumps and valves
  • Piping
  • Condensers, evaporators and distillation equipment
  • Accumulators
  • Exhaust duct systems
  • Refrigerant/refrigerated store spaces
  • Submarine hull insulation
  • Spray-on hull insulation
  • Thermal and acoustic insulation for ducts
  • Doors and hatches
  • Electrical components



Asbestos Exposure on Navy ShipsAsbestos exposure was widespread among Navy personnel and shipyard employees working on ship construction, ship repair and ship maintenance from the 1930s to the 1980s. Even after asbestos materials were phased out by the Navy in the 1970s, in later years, those who worked on asbestos-containing submarines were exposed to asbestos dust.

If you are a Navy veteran or shipyard worker who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos disease, the attorneys at Belluck & Fox can advise you of your rights to full and fair compensation. You should know that you would not be suing the Navy, rather, compensation comes from the asbestos companies responsible for selling dangerous products to the military. To learn more, please contact us today.

Asbestos Exposure at Electric Boat in Groton, CT

Before 1950, Electric Boat primarily built diesel-electric submarines, which required relatively small amounts of asbestos due to the absence of high-temperature steam lines. In 1951, Electric Boat announced its contract to build the Nautilus — the world’s first nuclear submarine. From that time forward, Electric Boat’s Groton shipyard built mostly nuclear submarines, and asbestos use increased.

From 1975 to 1976, Dr. Irving J. Selikoff — an award-winning researcher known for definitively proving the link between asbestos exposure and diseases like mesothelioma — performed clinical examinations of 1,000 employees of the Electric Boat Company in Groton, Connecticut. Selikoff’s findings showed that roughly half of the workers in the Groton yard had X-ray abnormalities consistent with asbestos exposure.

“The abnormalities were found not only in insulators who used asbestos, but in all production trades,” Selikoff said. “Asbestos was a ubiquitous contaminant in the yard with many workmen exposed.”electric boat

As a follow-up to his initial examination of Electric Boat workers, Selikoff performed a mortality study of 1,918 workers from the shipyard who spent at least 10 years working there in various trades. The workers included pipefitters, boilermakers, painters, carpenters, electricians, machinists, laborers and foundry workers.

Of the 1,918 workers studied, 356 of them had died at the time the study was completed in 1984. The findings indicated an excess of mortality of all causes, and in particular of cancers of the lung and gastrointestinal tract, as well as from respiratory disease.

“The excesses of cancer are of sites that are known to be related to asbestos exposure, a material commonly used in the Electric Boat Shipyard,” Selikoff said.

Learn more about asbestos exposure in shipyards.

Submarines Built by Electric Boat

Shipyard workers at Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut, were responsible for constructing an impressive number of submarines for the U.S. military, including the following vessels:

  • SSN571 Nautilus
  • SSN575 Seawolf
  • SSN578 Skate
  • SSN585 Skipjack
  • SSN589 Scorpion
  • SSN586 Triton
  • SSN613 Flasher
  • SSN614 Greenling
  • SSN615 Gato
  • SSN597 Tullibee
  • SSBN598 George Washington
  • SSBN599 Patrick Henry
  • SSBN608 Ethan Allen
  • SSBN610 Thomas A. Edison
  • SSBN616 Lafayette
  • SSBN617 Alexander Hamilton
  • SSBN623 Nathan Hale
  • SSBN626 Daniel Webster
  • SSBN628 Tecumseh
  • SSBN631 Ulysses S. Grant
  • SSBN633 Casimir Pulaski
  • SSBN640 Benjamin Franklin
  • SSBN643 George Bancroft
  • SSBN645 James K. Polk
  • SSBN655 Henry L. Stimson
  • SSBN657 Francis Scott Key
  • SSBN659 Will Rogers
  • SSN637 Sturgeon
  • SSN650 Pargo
  • SSN667 Bergall
  • SSN669 Seahorse
  • SSN673 Flying Fish
  • SSN674 Trepang
  • SSN675 Bluefish
  • SSN676 Billfish
  • SSN678 Archerfish
  • SSN679 Silversides
  • SSN681 Batfish
  • SSN684 Cavalla
  • SSN671 Narwhal
  • SSN685 Glenard P. Lipscomb
  • SSN690 Philadelphia
  • SSN692 Omaha
  • SSN694 Groton
  • SSN696 New York City
  • SSN697 Indianapolis
  • SSN698 Bremerton
  • SSN699 Jacksonville
  • SSN700 Dallas
  • SSN701 La Jolla
  • SSN702 Phoenix
  • SSN703 Boston
  • SSN704 Baltimore
  • SSN705 City of Corpus Christi
  • SSN706 Albuquerque
  • SSN707 Portsmouth
  • SSN708 Minneapolis-Saint Paul
  • SSN709 Hyman G. Rickover
  • SSN710 Augusta
  • SSN719 Providence
  • SSN720 Pittsburgh
  • SSN724 Louisville
  • SSN725 Helena
  • SSN751 San Juan
  • SSN752 Pasadena
  • SSN754 Topeka
  • SSN755 Miami
  • SSN757 Alexandria
  • SSN760 Annapolis
  • SSN761 Springfield
  • SSN762 Columbus
  • SSN763 Santa Fe
  • SSN768 Hartford
  • SSN771 Columbia
  • SSGN726 Ohio
  • SSGN727 Michigan
  • SSGN728 Florida
  • SSGN729 Georgia
  • SSBN730 Henry M. Jackson
  • SSBN731 Alabama
  • SSBN732 Alaska
  • SSBN733 Nevada
  • SSBN734 Tennessee
  • SSBN735 Pennsylvania
  • SSBN736 West Virginia
  • SSBN737 Kentucky
  • SSBN738 Maryland
  • SSBN739 Nebraska
  • SSBN740 Rhode Island
  • SSBN741 Maine
  • SSBN742 Wyoming
  • SSBN743 Louisiana
  • NR-1
  • SSN21 Seawolf
  • SSN22 Connecticut
  • SSN23 Jimmy Carter
  • SSN774 Virginia
  • SSN776 Hawaii
  • SSN778 New Hampshire
  • SSN780 Missouri
  • SSN782 Mississippi
  • SSN784 North Dakota
  • SSN786 Illinois
  • SSN788 Colorado
  • SSN790 South Dakota
  • SSN792 Vermont
  • SSN793 Oregon
  • SSN795 Hyman G. Rickover
  • SSN797 Iowa
  • SSN799 Idaho
  • SSN801 Utah
  • SSBN826 Columbia


Electric Boat Workers File Asbestos LawsuitsAsbestos Lawsuits NY

By the time Selikoff’s report on the Groton shipyard was released, hundreds of Electric Boat workers had already filed asbestos exposure lawsuits against the companies that supplied asbestos to the shipyard. They claimed that those companies had failed to provide warnings about the health hazards of inhaling asbestos fibers. One of the defendants in the case — Johns-Manville Corporation — knew about the health risks of asbestos since at least the 1930s.

Although the U.S. Navy and Electric Boat phased out use of asbestos materials in the 1980s, the long latency period of asbestos disease means that workers exposed to asbestos decades ago are still at risk of developing mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. To this day, former workers at the Electric Boat Groton shipyard continue to file lawsuits against the companies responsible for their asbestos disease.


Get Help from a National Leader in Asbestos Litigation

The New York mesothelioma attorneys at Belluck & Fox travel across the United States to meet with mesothelioma patients and their families with the goal of securing maximum compensation from asbestos companies. Based in New York, we have earned a national reputation for asbestos law excellence due to groundbreaking wins in mesothelioma cases and more than $1 billion recovered for our clients.


If you have been diagnosed with asbestos disease, our experienced attorneys can help. To get started, you can visit our New York office or call to schedule a free consultation now.


We put clients first. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we are here to help.

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