San Francisco Dry Dock is one the oldest shipyards in the United States, but it also has one of the highest rates of asbestos use. As with most shipyards in the past, San Francisco Dry Dock’s excessive use of asbestos-containing products left a myriad of workers with toxic, life-threatening, asbestos-related illnesses, including mesothelioma, asbestosis, and asbestos-related lung cancer.
If you or a loved one suffer from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may qualify for substantial compensation. Currently, there is over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, awaiting those who’ve been diagnosed with an asbestos illness. We invite you to use our Asbestos Attorney Locator Tool to find a top mesothelioma lawyer in your area
San Francisco Dry Dock History
San Francisco Dry Dock was originally created in 1870 by the Union Iron Works Company, but once the company stopped making money, it was bought by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Company, under the name Hunters Point Dry Dock. Bethlehem Shipbuilding Company began constructing numerous types of vessels, including destroyers, cruisers, and more, in preparation for the upcoming World War I. It was during this time that the shipyard built the West Coast’s first steel ship.
Once World War I started, the shipyard continued to produce a myriad of different vessels, including 18 submarines and over 60 destroyers. After the war, and shortly before World War II started, the Navy leased docks from private owners, which provided deep-water access between Bremerton, Washington, and San Diego. When World War II started, however, the Navy bought the docks from the owners and changed the shipyard’s name to Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.
The shipyard went on to become one of the largest shipyards on the West Coast, as well as the main site for the military’s applied nuclear research facility, the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory. Eventually, Bethlehem Steel sold the site to United States Marine Repair, currently known as BAE Systems Ship Repair. Currently, the San Francisco Dry Dock covers 26 acres and contains two dry-docks, focusing on vessel repair.
Prior to the late 1970s, San Francisco Dry Dock used asbestos and numerous other hazardous substances throughout its facilities and on vessels. In fact, in 1989, there was so many toxins found that the site was named as a SuperFund cleanup area by the EPA.
San Francisco Dry Dock Asbestos Use
In addition to asbestos, lead paint and industrial cleaners containing hazardous chemicals were used in excess at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard. While workers exposed to lead paint were diagnosed with illnesses within a relatively short period of time, those exposed to asbestos weren’t aware until up to 50 years later, given the dormancy time period of asbestos-related diseases.
Numerous former workers at the shipyard have already developed life-threatening asbestos illnesses, including malignant mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer. Family members were also at risk of developing asbestos illnesses. Although the dangers of asbestos were known, most workers at San Francisco Dry Dock weren’t given the proper protective gear and clothing to help protect them from asbestos fibers.
In turn, workers would return to their family home in work clothes that were filled with tiny asbestos fibers. The fibers are thin, fine, colorless, and odorless, making it impossible to know when inhalation/ingestion occurs. Once asbestos fibers are ingested or inhaled, they get lodged in the body and over time, irritate the lining of major organs, leading to serious illnesses.
If you or a loved one worked at San Francisco Dry Dock, it’s important to seek routine medical checkups. Make sure your physician understands that you may have been exposed to asbestos.
Help and Resources for Asbestos Victims
If you’ve been injured by mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, keep in mind that there is a good chance that you’ll qualify for considerable compensation. Remember to use our Asbestos Attorney Locator Tool to find a leading mesothelioma attorney in your area. If you have questions or need additional assistance, contact us at 800-793-4540.