Western Shipyard is situated in San Francisco’s San Pedro Bay. The most successful years of this shipyard came during the years of the First and Second World Wars, when shipbuilders built incredible numbers of United States warships for military purposes.
This Western Shipyard originally made pipes for a variety of commercial ships in the early part of the last century, when it first opened. However, this changed during the Second World War, when the U.S. Maritime Commission approved a series of contracts that made it possible for the shipyard to build naval ships. Eventually, the shipyard expanded so that it could make room for the large increase in demand that was coming from the Navy. Later, the shipyard built destroyer escorts and cargo ships. It finally was sold to a commercial developer in 1983.
Despite the extremely profitable business the war efforts brought this company, Western Shipyard workers also suffered from exposure to extremely hazardous amounts of asbestos. This substance has repeatedly proven highly toxic. It is linked to mesothelioma, a deadly cancer without cure. Mesothelioma develops inside the heart, abdomen, or lungs and is caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers. Mesothelioma symptoms can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years before they manifest. By that time, the cancer has usually had the chance to spread to other organs before being recognized.
Though the Western Shipyard provided many years of honorable support to the United States war efforts and was responsible for building some of the greatest ships, the possibility of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma contraction remain a negative consequence of this facility. For that reason, former employees of this facility are encouraged to seek medical attention to diagnose possible symptoms indicating the presence of one of these asbestos-related diseases.