A company that operates ferry services between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland has offered medical testing to its employees in order to test for any exposure to the deadly carcinogenic asbestos. The company, the Crown Corporation, is offering staff members access to information on asbestos exposure as well as access to medical staff on site.

There are between thirty and sixty staff members that will be offered the medical assessments, all of whom work on a fortnight on, fortnight off basis on the MV Atlantic Freighter. The company is also contacting former workers with a medical questionnaire, with the medical service being provided by Atlantic Offshore Medical Services Inc.

According to officials asbestos was first identified on the vessel in 1990. However, action was taken to contain the asbestos. The company did post signs on board the vessel relating to asbestos presence last month, however, and this created fresh concern among employees.

One union official stated: “The encapsulation that was done back in 1990 had worn away and was damaged, so we’re not sure the amount of exposure that has taken place since then. We’re concerned right now because they’ve only recently rediscovered this asbestos and no one… was aware there was asbestos all these years.”

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