Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA

California is the third largest state in size and at nearly 40 million residents, has the largest state population. With its Pacific coastline, California has had four U.S. Naval Shipyards, and numerous private shipyards. California was also the site of many asbestos manufacturing plants, asbestos mines and petrochemical factories and refineries.

Asbestos insulation was heavily used in the shipbuilding and ship repair industries. Asbestos cancers, including mesothelioma, have arisen from many work forces, including those of Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco, Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, Long Beach Naval Shipyard, San Diego Naval Station, Todd’s Shipyards in Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco, Bethlehem Shipyard in San Francisco (in operation from 1905 to 1941), in Alameda (in operation from 1916 to 1956) and in San Pedro (aka Southwest Marine Terminal, in operation from 1940 to 1981) and General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego.

Various asbestos manufacturers operated plants in California, including Johns-Manville (with plants in the cities of Stockton, Long Beach, Lompoc and Pittsburgh, California), Owens-Corning, CertainTeed and others. Even the mining of raw asbestos took place in California at the Union Carbide-operated mines in King County.

Asbestos insulation was also heavily used in oil refineries, petrochemical plants, as well as the construction industry and in power plants.


Below is a list of occupations that put California 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
  • Drywall 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


The following is a list of some of the California job sites where there is 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 job sites in California where asbestos was used.


  • AAA Shipyard, Alameda
  • AAA Shipyard, San Diego
  • AAA Shipyard, San Francisco
  • California Navy Shipyard
  • Campbell Industries Shipyard, San Diego
  • Conrad Industries
  • Consolidated Steel Shipyards
  • General Dynamics NASSCO, San Diego
  • Hunters Point Naval Shipyard
  • Kaiser Shipyard, Richmond
  • Long Beach Naval Shipyard
  • Mare Island Naval Shipyard
  • Moore Dry Dock
  • Naval Air Station
  • National Steel & Shipbuilding Co.
  • Naval Weapons Station
  • Richmond Shipyards
  • Rough & Ready Island Ship Repair
  • San Diego Naval Shipyard & Air Station
  • San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard
  • San Francisco Drydock
  • Southwest Marine (aka Bethlehem Shipyard San Pedro)
  • Terminal Island Naval Operating Base
  • Terminal Island Naval Shipyard
  • Todd Shipyards Los Angeles
  • Todd Shipyards Oakland
  • Todd Shipyards San Francisco
  • U.S. Naval Construction Battalion Center
  • Western Shipyard

Mines & Smelters

  • Union Carbide Mines, King County
  • American Smelting & Refining, San Francisco
  • American Smelting & Refining, Selby
  • American Smelting & Refining, Crockett
  • Pacific States Steel Corp.


  • ARCO (Atlantic Richfield) Carson
  • ARCO (Atlantic Richfield) Gardena
  • ARCO (Atlantic Richfield) Long Beach
  • ARCO (Atlantic Richfield) Taft
  • ARCO (Atlantic Richfield) Wilmington
  • Chevron, Richmond
  • Mobil Oil, Los Angeles
  • Mobil Oil, Torrence
  • Richfield Oil, Watson
  • Shell Oil, Pasadena
  • Union Oil, Olevim

Power Plants

  • Pacific Gas & Electric, Antioch
  • PG&E, Pittsburgh, CA
  • PG&E, Moss Landing
  • San Diego Gas & Electric, Carlsbad
  • San Fernando Powerhouse
  • San Onofre PowerPlant
  • Scattergood Powerhouse, El Segundo
  • Southern California Edison/Oxnard
  • Southern California Edison/Huntington Beach
  • Southern California Edison/Redondo Beach
  • Southern California Edison/El Segundo

Other Industries 

  • Aeroben Inc.
  • Aerojet General Corp.
  • AES Alamitos, Long Beach
  • AES Huntington, Huntington Beach
  • AES Redondo Beach
  • California Division of Highways, L.A.
  • City of Los Angeles
  • Costal Ag-Chem
  • Coastox Inc.
  • Edwards AFB
  • E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Co.
  • Ferro Corp.
  • Fisher Body Div.
  • Ford Motor Co.
  • Frank Olocco – Agri Pest Control
  • Fruit Growers Express Co.
  • Global Associates
  • International Harvester Co.
  • Johns-Manville Products Corp.
  • Kaiser Cement & Gypsum Corp.
  • Kaiser Steel Co.
  • Morris P. Kirk & Sons Inc.
  • Muttay Industrial Supply Co.
  • Northrop Corp. – Norair Division
  • Oakland Army Base
  • Orchard Supply Hardware
  • Phillipine Air Lines
  • Port Packing Center WHS ES805, Oakland Army Terminal
  • Proctor & Gamble Mfg. Co.
  • Riverside Division American Chemical Corp.
  • San Francisco Cash Sale
  • Sierra Army Depot
  • Soil Service Inc.
  • Southern Pacific Co./ Sacramento Pacific Co.
  • State of California
  • Stauffer Chemical Co.
  • Ted Cox Welding Supply


The high levels of asbestos used in California industries have taken their toll on the health of California workers, who have one of the highest rates of mesothelioma in the country. Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer of the lining of the lungs and abdomen, which is caused by asbestos exposure.

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

According to the NIOSH, California has the highest rate of asbestos disease in the country as of 2002. These deaths were highly concentrated in the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Orange County, Contra Costa, Alameda, and San Mateo. Between 1979 and 2001, at least 4,273 Californians died of mesothelioma or asbestosis.


As a result, workers in all these industries were exposed to significant amounts of asbestos dust until the mid to late 1970s and sometimes into the 1980s. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and you believe you were exposed to asbestos in California, please contact one of our mesothelioma lawyers. We can help you investigate the source of your exposure, and determine what companies were responsible.