Alabama Drydock Shipyard
Since 1917, the mobile-based Alabama Drydock & Shipping Company (ADDSCO) has been an active shipyard. Asbestos shipyards were common in World War I and World War II, and people who worked there were at risk of asbestos exposure which could lead to asbestos cancer.
When it was built, Alabama Drydock & Shipping Company (ADDSCO) was meant to service the navy in World War I and it carried this duty forward in World War II as well. During this time, 20 type EC2-S-C1 ships were completed at this shipyard. Originally intended to function as a haven for ships in need of repair, Alabama Drydock & Shipping Company ended up servicing nine other emergency shipyards with staff and land. In the end, there were only four shipbuilding companies that built tankers in WWI, and ADDSCO was one of them.
When World War I began, over thirty thousand workers moved to Mobile to work in the shipyard and other wartime industries. There were several different types of jobs in these shipyards including welding and quality control. Even though, these fields were considered lower impact, there’s no doubt that these female welders potentially faced asbestos exposure as they contributed to the war effort. Thousands of people applied and found work at the shipyard which means thousands of men and women and their families were exposed to asbestos fibers on a daily basis.
Because speed was of key importance during the war years, shipworkers worked around the clock in order to complete ships in as little time as 42 days. Asbestos products were used heavily during the construction of the ship which increased the risk of asbestos exposure which no one realized could lead to asbestos cancer 30 years down the line.
In the years after the close of World War II, the Alabama drydock and shipping area returned to normal operations of being a repair facility. After 1989, the plant was sold to Atlantic Marine Holdings. Today, the shipyard remains a repair facility, but does some shipbuilding as Alabama Shipyard.