Like any major area, Victoria has a wide variety of industries, some of which may have exposed workers – knowingly or unknowingly – to asbestos resulting in them developing mesothelioma. But one major work site just outside of Victoria exposed thousands of workers to asbestos over the past decades – the Royal Canadian Navy! The Pacific Headquarters of the Navy in Esquimalt has played host to tens of thousands of service men and women and their families over the years – and a great many of them were exposed to the toxic substance.
Canadian Veteran Affairs has admitted that asbestos was widely used in the construction of ships, aircraft carriers and submarines. Royal Canadian Navy ships used asbestos for insulation, to line bulkheads, as pipe and boiler insulation and in electronic equipment insulation. As a result, an increasing number of Navy veterans are being diagnosed with mesothelioma. It’s important for these veterans and their families that they pursue compensation for the injuries done to them to help pay for needed medical treatments or to leave a financial bequest to their families.
Which Navy Workers Were at Risk for Asbestos Exposure?
Many jobs in the Royal Canadian Navy put service people at risk for asbestos exposure. Navy personnel who lived and worked on ships were at risk if they personally came into contact with asbestos fibers, but could also be at risk if they bunked near those who worked in high risk jobs. You could have been exposed and never realized it. Asbestos fibers are microscopic – finer than half a human ear.
And once asbestos fibers are in the air, they can linger for days, breathed in by anyone. You don’t realize you’re breathing in asbestos – it won’t make you sneeze or cough – it has no smell or flavor. Once in your lungs, they imbed themselves and take root, and in many cases cause damage that leads to mesothelioma, asbestosis and other lung cancers and diseases.
Here are some of the Navy jobs that exposed service personnel to asbestos:
Jobs at Risk for Exposure
- Boatswain’s mate
- Electrician’s mate
- Metal worker or steelworker
- Structural mechanic
- Electronics technician
- Support equipment technician
- Antisubmarine warfare worker
- Builder and repair worker
- Gas turbine system technician
- Missile technician
- Torpedoman’s mate
Jobs at High Risk for Exposure
- Engine room worker
- Shipyard worker
- Fire control, fire rescue worker
- Boilermaker and boilerman
- Hull maintenance worker
- Sonarman and soundman
- Water tender
In addition to naval workers in these specialties, those they bunked with and their families were at risk. After working in areas of asbestos exposure, stray fibers could cling to the uniforms of workers and follow them back to their racks or homes if they were in port. These fibers could be breathed in by anyone who routinely came into contact with the workers and caused second hand asbestos exposure which has been shown to cause mesothelioma in some cases.
What Other Workers Could Have Been Exposed to Asbestos?
There are a number of other professions that exposed workers to asbestos. Those in Victoria beyond the naval yard who could have been exposed include:
- Auto mechanics and auto parts salespeople
- Warehouse employees
- Construction and drywall workers
- Sheet metal workers and machinists
- Boilermakers and welders
- Carpenters and electricians
- Tile installers and roofers
- Firefighters and rescue workers
- Railway and Railyard workers
- Shipyard workers (military and private)
The risks of asbestos have been known as far back as the 1940s, but even by the 1970s when it became apparent that asbestos was causing serious terminal illnesses, employers did not properly warn or protect its workers. That’s why it’s important that once you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, consult our firm to see if you’re entitled to a financial settlement. This can help you pay for your medical treatment or provide for your family in case of your passing.
How Long Does It Take for Mesothelioma to Be Diagnosed?
The time from exposure to diagnosis is usually a matter of decades. It can be 20, 30 – even up to 50 years between the time you were exposed to the deadly fiber and when you discover that it’s permanently damaged your health. Asbestos diseases gestate slowly and the symptoms are often so inconsequential that you or your doctor may not realize you have a serious illness brewing.
Most cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed with Stage III or IV when the disease is difficult to treat and has progressed so far that you may have only a few years of your life left. It’s unfair that this disease is one of older workers and retirees who have just begun to look forward to their golden years. Seeking a financial settlement from those responsible for your illness can provide a financial cushion for you and your family.
If you have mesothelioma, it’s very likely that it was caused by asbestos and it’s also quite likely that you were exposed on the job or by a family member who unintentionally exposed you second hand. You can develop mesothelioma from asbestos exposure from a job you held decades ago. Some cases of adulthood mesothelioma have been linked to childhood exposure from a parent who worked in a high-risk industry.
If you have mesothelioma, contact our office and we can look at your job and family history, where you’ve worked and lived to discover how you were likely exposed. Because Bergman Draper Oslund only handles mesothelioma cases, we have compiled extensive research about job sites and exposure – in Victoria, nearby Esquimalt, greater British Columbia and all of Canada.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact us as soon as possible to get your claim started. We have a track record of winning significant settlements for our clients and are ready to help you. We have won over $700 million in asbestos exposure damages for people just like you. Our expertise is yours for the asking. We are here to help. Contact us today.