Colorado is well-known as being located in the Rocky Mountains. Thus, it is not surprising that it has a large mining industry. Minerals that are principally mined include coal, gold, gypsum, limestone, silver, titanium, uranium, sodium bicarbonate (nahcolite), soda ash, and also aggregates, such as sand, gravel and crushed rock. What is not well known is that there was asbestos exposure for those in the mining industry from the various pieces of equipment and machinery that are associated with mining operations.

Also, what is not appreciated is that approximately one third of Colorado is either flat or rolling land, not mountainous. Thus, Colorado actually has seven of the 100 largest natural gas fields and two of the largest oil fields in the United States. An unfortunate consequence of these industries, as well as other jobsites, such as construction, auto repair work and power plants, is asbestos exposure, which has left a legacy of asbestos disease, including malignant mesothelioma.


Below is a list of occupations that put Colorado 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
  • Miners
  • Oil Refinery Workers
  • Pipefitters
  • Plasterers
  • Power Plant Workers
  • Railroad Workers
  • Sheetmetal Workers
  • Smelting Plant Workers
  • Sugar Mill workers
  • U.S. Navy Veterans


The following is a list of some of the Colorado jobsites 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 jobsites in Colorado where asbestos was used.

Mining & Smelting Operations

  • Ajax Gold Mining Co., Victor, CO
  • American Gilsonite Co., Gilsonite, CO
  • Am. Smelting and Refining Co., Pueblo, CO
  • Climax Molybdenum Co.,Climax, Co.
  • Colorado and Utah Coal Co., Mount Harris, CO
  • El Paso Consolidated Gold Mining Co., Anaconda, CO
  • Golden Cycle Mining Co., Independence, CO
  • Goodenough Mining and Milling Co., Ruby City, CO
  • New Jersey Zinc. Co., Gilman, CO
  • United States Zinc Co., Pueblo, CO
  • Urad Mine, Empire, CO

Power Plants

  • Adolph Coors Co. – Power House, Golden, CO
  • Alamosa Power Plant, Alamosa, CO
  • Bullock Power Plant, Montrose, CO
  • Cameo Power Plant, Cameo, CO
  • Cherokee Power Plant, Denver, CO
  • Colorado Light and Power Co., Canon, CO
  • Colorado Springs Light Heat and Power Co., Colorado Springs, CO
  • Commanche Power Plant, Denver, CO
  • Commanche Power Plant, Pueblo, CO
  • Denver Gas and Electric Co., Denver, CO
  • Four Corners Power Plant, Alamosa, CO
  • Hayden Power Plant, Hayden, CO
  • Hayden Steam Station Unit #1, Hayden, CO
  • Johnson Davis Power Plant, Denver, CO
  • La Comb Power Plant, Denver, CO
  • Martin Drake Power Plant, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Pawnee Power Plant, Brush, CO
  • Southern Colorado Power Plant, Canon City, CO
  • Trinidad Electric Light Heat and Power Co., Trinidad, CO
  • Zuni Powerhouse, Denver, CO


  • Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Co., La Junta, CO
  • Chicago, Burlington, and Quiney Railroad, Denver, CO
  • Colorado and Southern Railway Co., Denver, CO
  • Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Co., Barnham, CO
  • Denver and Rio Grand Western Railroad Co., Dueglo, CO


  • Suncor Energy Inc., Commerce City East, CO
  • Suncor Energy Inc., Commerce City West, CO

Steel Mill

  • CF&I Steel Corp., Pueblo Minnequa, Co.
  • Colorado Fuel & Iron, Pueblo, CO

Sugar Mills

  • Beet Sugar Factory, Brush, CO
  • Great Western Sugar Co., Brighton, CO
  • Great Western Sugar Co., Johnstown, CO
  • Holly Sugar Corp., Delta, CO
  • Industrial Sugar Co., La Salle, CO
  • National Sugar Manufacturing Co., Sugar City, CO

Other Industries

  • Climax Molybdenum Co., Climax, CO
  • Colorado-Horner Construction, Denver, CO
  • Dow Chemical CO.,Rocky Flats, CO
  • RFS Inc., Empire, CO
  • Union Carbide Corp., Rifle, CO
  • Union Carbide Corp., Uravan, Co.
  • Upson & Sons Inc., Denver, CO


The high levels of asbestos used in Colorado industries have taken their toll on the health of Colorado workers, who in some counties have some 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 Colorado mesothelioma deaths continues to rise even though asbestos is seldom used in Colorado today.

According to the Environmental Working Group, Colorado has the 31st highest rate of asbestos disease in the country as of 2002. Between 1979 to 2001, at least 584 people from Colorado died of mesothelioma or asbestosis. According to the Center for Disease Control, from 1999 to 2004, at least 163 people died from mesothelioma in Colorado.


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 Colorado, please contact one of our mesothelioma lawyers. We can help you investigate the source Colorado your exposure, and determine what companies were responsible.