Location: Kittery, ME 03904
Years of Operation: 1800-Present
The federal government established Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in 1800, but shipbuilding at the site dates back to 1690. The shipyard’s first military ship was the USS Washington, a 74-gun warship. Activity increased during the World Wars, and the yard employed tens of thousands of civilians to construct submarines. This construction continued for several decades, until the shipyard launched their final submarine in 1969. Since then, the site has focused on refueling and repair.
The following chart outlines the toxins associated with this military location and the potential effects of exposure.*
|Chromium||Anemia; stomach and intestinal damage|
|Lead||Nervous system damage, anemia, kidney damage, miscarriage, reproductive damage, death at high levels|
|Cadmium||Kidney, lung, and bone damage|
|Asbestos||Lung problems and cancer|
|Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)||Damage to the kidneys, liver, and central nervous system; irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat; headaches, nausea, loss of coordination|
Evidence of VOCs causing cancer in animals; some suspected to cause cancer in humans (source)
|Mercury||Brain and kidney damage; damage to developing fetus|
|Heavy metals||Headaches, weakness, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, constipation (source)|
The above chromium, lead, and cadmium contamination was present in plating sludge. Heavy metals were found in sandblasting grit. Waste paint was also found on the site. If you were stationed or worked at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and later experienced adverse health effects, you may be eligible for compensation.
*Effects are according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry unless otherwise noted.