Katzko Speaks out on Asbestos-Related Mesothelioma

Bob Katzko’s father Michael died from Mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure from the ship he served on in the Canadian Navy during World War II. Today, Bob has formed a mesothelioma support group as his project in Landmark Education’s Self-Expression and Leadership Program.

According to his blog, he hopes the group will allow peope who have lost a loved one to have a forum for support and sharing. Katzko also has spoken out about the dangers of asbestos that continue today – His letter on the subject was published in the Vancouver Sun:

Sixty-five years after being exposed to asbestos on Canadian Navy ships during the Second World War, my father died from mesothelioma, a form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, in 2004.

Last week, our family was awarded a substantial settlement from a U.S. manufacturer of asbestos products. The Canadian Navy never warned my father that other sailors were dying of this disease and he might be in danger.

U.S. manufacturers of asbestos products have ceased defending themselves against claims because the evidence is overwhelmingly clear that as far back as the 1920s, they knowingly produced products hazardous to a person’s health. They chose to declare bankruptcy, setting up trust funds to cover future claims.

One of the more insidious aspects of mesothelioma is that symptoms may not appear until 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. In 2050, people in other countries may start dying from products made with Canada’s asbestos. In 2050, who will answer for Canada’s decision today to protect 700 mining jobs in Thetford, Quebec?

I run a mesothelioma support group and would be happy to hear from people who have also lost a loved one. I can be contacted at [email protected].

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