Alaska is rich in oil reserves – some is pumped to the contiguous states, while some is refined within the state. Oil refineries in Alaska and elsewhere made extensive use of asbestos to insulate pipes, distillers, condensers, and kilns. Refinery workers and contractors were exposed to large amounts of asbestos dust while working in this industry.

Asbestos was also used in Alaska’s shipyard industry. Alaska’s coastline and large fishing industry gave rise to the shipbuilding and ship repair industry. Ships and boats made use of asbestos, because asbestos was lightweight, fireproof, and waterproof. Asbestos was used to insulate the pipes, boilers, and other equipment on ships. Shipyard workers and longshoremen were regularly exposed to asbestos in their daily activities.

Other industries used asbestos. Power plants and paper mills contained tons of asbestos. Tragically, many Alaska workers also brought asbestos home on their clothes without realizing it. These workers and their families are at a heightened risk of mesothelioma.


Below is a list of occupations that put Alaska’s workers at a known risk of asbestos exposure. If you worked in one of these occupations in the 1980s or earlier, there is a good chance that you were exposed to asbestos:

  • Aircraft Mechanics & Repairmen
  • Automobile Mechanics
  • Boilermakers
  • Chemical Plant Workers
  • Construction Workers
  • Electricians
  • Foundry Workers
  • Industrial Plant Workers
  • Insulators
  • Longshoremen and Stevedores
  • Oil Refinery Workers
  • Pipefitters
  • Plasterers
  • Power Plant Workers
  • Railroad Workers
  • Sheetmetal Workers
  • Shipyard Workers
  • U.S. Navy Veterans
  • Welders


The following is a list of some of the Alaska jobsites where there is a documented use of asbestos products. If you or a family member worked at one of these places, you may be at a heightened risk of asbestos disease.

If you believe that you may have been exposed to asbestos at your own job, please contact a mesothelioma attorney for more information. There are many other jobsites in Alaska where asbestos was used.

Shipyards & Ship Repair

  • Alaska Ship & Drydock
  • Seward Ship’s Drydock

Oil and Petroleum Refinery

  • BP Oil – North Slope Facility
  • Shell Oil

Standard Oil

  • Union Oil
  • Kenai Refinery (Tesoro)
  • Valdez Refinery (Petro Star)
  • North Pole Refinery
  • Kuparuk Refinery (ConocoPhillips)
  • Prudhoe Bay Refinery (BP)

Power Plants

  • Alaska Steam Compressor Plant
  • Beluga Power

Other Industry

  • Westinghouse Gas Turbine
  • Westinghouse Plant
  • Kodiak Naval Station


The high levels of asbestos used in Alaska industries have take their toll on the health of Alaska’s workers, who have contracted the disease mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer of the lining of the lungs and abdomen, which is caused by asbestos exposure.

Like other asbestos diseases, mesothelioma has a long latency period. This means that a person usually develops mesothelioma long after the initial exposure to asbestos – usually 10 to 50 years later. Due to this latency period, the number of Alaska mesothelioma deaths continues to rise even though asbestos is seldom used in Alaska today.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there were 34 mesothelioma deaths in the state of Alaska from 1999 to 2005.


If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, and you believe you were exposed to asbestos in Alaska, it is important that you contact a skilled attorney with experience in asbestos litigation. In addition, time is of the essence, because you have a limited amount of time to file suit.

We urge you to contact one of our mesothelioma lawyers, for a free consultation. We can help you investigate the sources of your exposure, and determine what companies were responsible.