Hawai‘i Jobsites Where Asbestos Was Used

Asbestos Use at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard had the longest and heaviest use of asbestos in Hawai‘i, but there are many other job-sites and employers that used asbestos-containing products too. The private shipyards at Honolulu Harbor, Kewalo Basin and other locations performed similar jobs as those at Pearl Harbor.

Sometimes, if there was a manpower shortage at Pearl Harbor, private shipyard workers would be loaned out to help complete the work. Maintenance and repair of inter-island and oceanic ships and vessels which contained similar ship propulsion, auxiliary equipment, and operating systems required the same asbestos-containing products as those found at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

Various military installations across Hawai‘i from all branches of the Armed Forces used or had asbestos-containing material in their equipment, buildings and facilities. The electrical power companies and other public utilities had equipment that used asbestos, including all steam-powered boilers, turbines and generating machinery. Other heavy users of asbestos were the sugar mills and oil refineries whose high temperature equipment such as condensers and distillers had pressure vessels, pipes and valves insulated with asbestos.

Construction and Building Industries

Construction and building industry companies also used or worked with asbestos products through the 1970s. The local construction boom of the 1950’s and 1960’s saw the rapid growth of Honolulu, including the opening of Ala Moana Shopping Center, expansion of Honolulu International Airport, building of numerous hotels, condominiums and apartments, highway and other infrastructure improvements, and construction of various government buildings and facilities. Various building tradesmen and contractors such as insulators, welders, drywall workers, carpenters, cement workers and others would have been exposed to asbestos at these sites. Asbestos can still be present when tradesmen are working on older buildings, such as commercial and residential renovation and demolition projects.

Other Hawai‘i job-sites or industries with potential occupational exposure to asbestos include the automotive repair and maintenance sector, brewing companies, local distributors for mainland manufacturers, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractors, incinerators, and heavy equipment operators. Local unions, such as the Asbestos Workers Heat & Frost Local 132, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1186, Boilermakers Local 627, Plumbers & Fitters Local 675, Drywall, Tapers, Finishers & Allied Workers Local 1944 and others had members working with or around asbestos frequently.

Private Shipyards and Harbors

  • Dillingham Shipyard now known as Honolulu Shipyard
  • Kapalama Shipyard
  • Honolulu Harbor
  • Kewalo Basin
  • Matson Navigation
  • Young Brothers Ltd.
  • Prudential Grace Lines

U.S. Military Bases and Installations

  • Pearl Harbor Naval Supply Center
  • Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station
  • Barber’s Point Naval Air Station
  • Lualualei Naval Ammunition Depot
  • Schofield Army Barracks
  • Hickam Air Force Base
  • Wheeler Air Force Base

Power Plants and Public Utilities

  • Hawai‘ian Electric Company (HECO)
  • Maui Electric Company (MECO)
  • Hawai‘i Light Electric Company (HELCO)
  • Hawai‘ian Tel
  • Honolulu Board of Water Supply
  • Gaspro now known as The Gas Company

Sugar Mills and Plantations

  • Aiea Sugar Mill
  • Ewa Sugar Mill
  • Haiku Sugar Company
  • Hamakua Sugar Company
  • Hilo Coast Processing Company
  • Hilo Sugar Company
  • Honokaa Sugar Company
  • Kahuku Sugar Mill
  • Kau Sugar Company
  • Kekaha Sugar Company
  • Kilauea Sugar Plantation Company
  • Kohala Sugar Company
  • Laie Plantation
  • Lihue Plantation Company
  • Laupahoehoe Sugar Company
  • Mauna Kea Sugar Company
  • McBryde Sugar Company
  • Oahu Sugar Company
  • Olaa Sugar Company
  • Olokele Sugar Company
  • Paauhua Sugar Plantation
  • Pepeeko Sugar Company
  • Pioneer Mill Company
  • Puna Sugar Company
  • Waiakea Mill
  • Waialua Sugar Mill
  • Waianae Plantation
  • Wailuku Sugar Company
  • Waimanalo Sugar Company
  • Waimea Sugar Company
  • Waipahu Sugar Mill

Construction and Building Industry

  • Hawai‘ian Dredging Construction Company
  • E.E. Black
  • Amfac
  • Hawai‘ian Cement
  • Honolulu Planning Mill

Oil Refineries and Other Industries

  • Chevron Refinery
  • Honolulu Iron Works
  • Hilo Iron Works
  • Terminal Steel
  • Mutual Welding

Insulation Contractors

  • Associated Insulation
  • Craig & Company

Canneries and Food Processing

  • Dole Pineapple Cannery
  • California Packing Company
  • Libby, McNeil and Libby
  • Hawai‘ian Tuna Packers, Ltd.


  • Honolulu Brewing and Malting Company
  • C. Brewer and Company