GAO reviewed the Navy's efforts to protect workers from asbestos exposure at the Long Beach and Norfolk Naval Shipyards. Specifically reviewed were the use of asbestos in Navy ships, the cost of removing asbestos from Navy ships, and compensation programs for asbestos-related disabilities. The Navy's 1975 policy was to remove and replace with nonasbestos materials only insulation that was damaged or had to be removed to accomplish necessary repairs. This policy was modified in 1979 to include selectively replacing asbestos insulation in high-maintenance areas where repairs would be expected during a ship's next operating cycle.
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