California Mesothelioma Resources and Asbestos Information
California has been home to shipyards
for nearly a century, recognized as supporting more of these facilities on its coast than any other state. Its shipyard industry took off during U.S. military engagements of the twentieth century, accelerating the rate of asbestos exposure for employees of these facilities at those times. The state's location near the active Pacific Theater during World War II made the state a convenient location to construct, repair and upgrade these military vessels, exposing thousands to the risk of asbestos exposure. This is illustrated by the higher than average number of Navy veterans who worked on or serviced vessels out of the Bay area up through the early 1990s that have developed asbestos-related conditions. Today many of those former shipyard workers remain unaware that their previous profession put them at risk for developing this cancer. In addition, a number of mining operations and energy facilities operate in the state. All of these are potential industrial sources of asbestos, which was used in a variety of industrial equipment to provide fire, heat and chemical protection. Workers in these industries faced the threat of asbestos exposure as it deteriorated and became suspended in the air of these facilities where it could be inhaled or ingested. As California grew and supported widespread development, asbestos was used in that early construction. Unfortunately, this growth took place before this material was discovered to be a source of severe medical conditions, such as mesothelioma. Responsible for spurring on this construction boom, California's large population is believed to be another factor in the higher rates of asbestos-related illnesses from 1979 through 1999. Asbestos itself tends to be more prevalent in areas that are sparsely populated in California, but mesothelioma
tends to be more prevalent in urban areas, which California has many of. The material's concentration in older consumer products and construction can account for these discrepancies, as more and more individuals moved into the densely-populated areas of the state and risked exposure.