Asbestos Exposure Job Sites in the Pacific Northwest
Bergman Oslund Udo Little has specialized in job site asbestos exposure and mesothelioma lawsuits since 1995. Besides fighting for client compensation, our firm maintains a proprietary database of asbestos job sites in the Pacific Northwest, including public facilities, military bases, manufacturing plants, and shipyards.
Asbestos was widely used in many industries throughout the 20th century. As a result, countless workers were exposed to the toxic substance and have developed asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma. Since 1995, the experienced lawyers at Bergman Oslund Udo Little have focused on locations in the Pacific Northwest to help those harmed by asbestos exposure get the compensation they deserve.
Each of our attorneys has a connection to the Pacific Northwest. Some are lifelong residents. Others moved here for law school. All are passionate about getting justice for those harmed while working at the area’s shipyards, manufacturing plants, and military bases.
Common Asbestos Job Sites Throughout The Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is home to many job sites with asbestos exposure risks. Shipyards, paper mills, and power plants are among the many asbestos job sites throughout Washington and Oregon where workers were regularly exposed to the carcinogenic mineral. The following are some job sites in the Pacific Northwest with extensive histories of asbestos exposure.
- Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton: Widely used asbestos in shipbuilding during the 20th century for its insulating and fireproofing properties. Workers had heightened exposure, increasing their risk of asbestos-related illnesses.
- Todd Shipyards, Seattle: Employed asbestos for its heat-resistant qualities in marine equipment, building materials, and more. Several former employees have sought compensation for mesothelioma.
- Centralia Power Plant: Asbestos was used for thermal insulation. While removal efforts occurred between 1985-2000, exposure risk remained, especially for workers pre-1985.
- Hanford Site: Established in 1943 for nuclear weapon production, the Hanford Nuclear Site used asbestos-containing items extensively. Decades later, asbestos was found in various locations, exposing many workers.
- Skagit Oil Refineries: Brought jobs to Skagit County in the 1950s and exposed workers to asbestos in refinery parts, equipment, and building materials.
- Cowlitz County Paper Mills: Relied on asbestos in machinery for fireproofing and durability up to the 1980s.
- Crown Zellerbach Paper Mill, Camas: Used asbestos extensively in equipment and insulation, exposing workers to the carcinogen.
- St. Regis Pulp & Paper Mill: Incorporated asbestos in production the production of paper due to its fire-retardant nature. Workers who maintained the asbestos-insulated systems faced regular exposure.
- ALCOA Aluminum Smelter, Wenatchee: A significant asbestos job site in the early 20th century, it used asbestos in building materials, machinery, and protective clothing. Despite knowledge of asbestos dangers, its use persisted for decades.
- Weyerhaeuser Paper Mill, Longview: Like other mills, it used asbestos for insulation during pulping and boiling processes. Workers often interacted directly with asbestos, and the mill’s construction materials were often asbestos-containing.
- Swan Island Shipyard, Portland: A significant West Coast shipbuilding center, where asbestos use during WWII potentially exposed many workers.
- Zidell Marine Corporation, Portland: A shipbuilding and dismantling facility where asbestos components in ships put workers at risk.
- Willamette Industries: Paper and forest products manufacturer that used asbestos in machinery, risking worker exposure.
- Boise Cascade Paper Mill: A paper and wood products manufacturer where machinery maintenance posed asbestos exposure risks.
- Georgia-Pacific Paper Mill: A leading paper company that used asbestos in equipment, posing risks during repairs.
- Portland General Electric: An electric utility company where asbestos insulation in facilities exposed workers.
- Trojan Nuclear Power Plant, Rainier: Oregon’s only commercial nuclear plant with asbestos use, particularly around maintenance tasks.
- BP (formerly ARCO) Refinery in Portland: Oil refinery where asbestos materials heightened exposure risks for workers near equipment.
- Rhone-Poulenc Chemicals, Portland: A chemical plant with asbestos use, putting production and maintenance workers at risk.
- Oregon Steel Mills, Portland: Steel facility where asbestos insulation exposed workers near high-temperature operations.
- Umatilla Army Depot: Military site with asbestos in construction and vehicles, posing risks to military and civilian personnel.
- Union Pacific Railroad: Railroad company with asbestos in trains, especially in repair and maintenance.
- Southern Pacific Railroad: Another major railroad using asbestos in train components, risking worker exposure.
Asbestos Exposure in the Military
In the Pacific Northwest, military personnel, especially those in the Navy, faced significant asbestos exposure risks. Due to its fire safety and insulation properties, asbestos was prevalent in military equipment, from ships to land vehicles, until the 1970s. While the Navy had the highest exposure risk because of its widespread use in ships, other branches weren’t exempt. Asbestos was found in Coast Guard vessels, aircraft, tanks, communication centers, military bases, and government buildings. Unfortunately, this means that many who served, particularly before the reduction in asbestos use, encountered this hazardous material during their service.
Which Jobs Are Most at Risk of Exposure to Asbestos?
In the Pacific Northwest, certain tradespeople have historically faced a higher risk of exposure to asbestos due to the nature of their work and the industries prevalent in the region. Here are the trades most at risk:
Shipbuilders and Shipyard Workers: The Pacific Northwest, with its extensive coastline, has a long shipbuilding history. Asbestos was commonly used in ships for insulation, fireproofing, and other purposes.
Construction Workers: Asbestos was frequently used in building materials like tiles, insulation, and roofing until the late 20th century.
Electricians: Asbestos was often used in electrical insulation and wiring.
Plumbers and Pipefitters: Asbestos was used to insulate pipes and boilers.
Mill Workers: Many mills in the region processed asbestos or products that contained asbestos.
Automotive Mechanics: Asbestos was commonly used in brake pads, clutches, and other automotive parts.
Insulators: These workers installed asbestos insulation in various structures.
Power Plant Workers: Asbestos was used to insulate power plants due to its heat-resistant properties.
Refinery Workers: The region’s oil refineries often use asbestos as insulation.
Firefighters: Older buildings that contain asbestos can release the fibers when they burn, exposing firefighters to the risk.
Miners: Some mines in the Pacific Northwest may have had asbestos or asbestos-like minerals.
Military Personnel: Many military bases and installations use asbestos in their structures and equipment. Naval bases, in particular, were common exposure sites due to using asbestos in ships.
It’s important for individuals in these occupations to be aware of their asbestos exposure risk and to get regular health screenings. If someone suspects they have been exposed, they should consult a medical professional and contact legal counsel regarding potential compensation.
Experienced Oregon and Washington Asbestos Exposure Lawyers are Here to Help
Have you or a loved one worked at a known asbestos-exposure job site in the Pacific Northwest? Don’t wait to understand your rights. Our asbestos attorneys have dedicated years to studying local asbestos job sites and advocating for victims. Your health and peace of mind are our priority while we guide you through the next steps towards justice and compensation. Contact us today for your free, no-obligation consultation.