The San Francisco Drydock is the biggest dry-docking installation in the city. Situated in San Francisco’s picturesque harbor, this facility opened in 1978 and even today, it is the only full-service ship repair business in the city of San Francisco. The facility was recently purchased by San Francisco Drydock Inc. San Francisco Drydock has now expanded its initial services.
Services performed by the company include the cleaning, coating, and welding of various kinds of materials. Besides the repair and maintenance of military warships and vessels, San Francisco Drydock Inc. now takes care of cruise ships and freight carriers, so more personnel is now necessary. In addition, many cruise-liner repairs must be carried out manually.
The company conducts its operations inside the same installation that was owned by the Bethlehem Steel Company and the Union Iron Works. Both companies built and repaired U.S. Navy vessels during World War I and World War II. Among the ingredients used in industrial cleaners and coating materials was a large amount of asbestos. As a result, many shipyard workers were subjected to the risk of being exposed to asbestos.
Lead-based paint is not always used today in the construction and maintenance of ships, but its use is still frequent. Many shipyard workers are at risk of mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other illnesses associated with asbestos exposure; welders are especially at risk. People who are employed by San Francisco Drydock Inc. are at risk due to the old ships they work on. These vessels still contain substances made with asbestos.
When particles from paint, insulation, and other asbestos-containing substances are released into the air, people breathe in the poisonous fibers. Very little was known about the effects of asbestos poisoning until the early 1970’s. Today, we know that the symptoms of asbestos exposure usually occur over a long period of time, many people are not aware they have been affected until they become sick. Mesothelioma, an asbestos-related disease, is an assertive, hard-hitting type of lung cancer.
The facilities in use by San Francisco Drydock are the same as those used by shipyards during the two world wars. The company’s employees are just as much at risk for asbestos-related diseases as their counterparts were during World War I and World War II.