Meanwhile, a study by the University of British Columbia (UBC) found that only 23 percent of asbestos cancer victims were aware they could file provincial workers' compensation claims or bothered to do so.
David Ford's is but one of the heartbreaking stories. A former pulp mill electrician, Ford was finally at the end of his career and about to embark on a dream retirement that included RV excursions and the construction of a new family home, when he was diagnosed with asbestos mesothelioma in 2007. According to his daughter Tracy, Ford's first hint of trouble was unexplained breathing problems.
An attempt to surgically remove the diseased portions of his cancerous lung in San Francisco came too late. Ford died 16 months after his diagnosis.
"It's a steady stream of death" - Larry Stoffman"
The Province article serves as a reminder that even though the dangers of asbestos exposure are now well known, there are those who routinely put workers in harm's way. Unscrupulous contractors in the renovation business will skirt around the costs associated with ensuring their workers are handling asbestos correctly and safely.
Another problem involves the importation of things such as brake linings that originate offshore. "A lot of stuff coming from offshore isn't labeled at all," Stoffman says. "It's full of asbestos."
READ MORE ASBESTOS MESOTHELIOMA LEGAL NEWS
Today, Teck says it spends about $2 million per year removing asbestos fibers from the plant. However, its current efforts do not nullify prior exposure.
"I've seen first-hand what some of these people go through, and their families go through, and their grandchildren, and it's just horrible," says United Steelworkers Local 480 president Doug Jones of his colleagues.
"Somewhere along the way somebody has to be accountable for that. Someone has to be responsible for the shortened lives that people live and the pain and suffering that all the families go through. It just doesn't seem fair."