Idaho’s large farming community fortunately is not conducive to asbestos exposure. Furthermore, there are relatively few heavy industry, steel foundries, and chemical facilities that would result in excess asbestos exposure.

On the other hand, Idaho’s paper and lumber mills, power plants, and nuclear facilities do give rise to asbestos-related diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Machinery and equipment in these facilities were heavily insulated; asbestos was used as a fire retardant throughout these industries; and many workers wore asbestos gloves and safety suits.

In January, 2005, the National Institute for Occupational Health & Safety (NIOSH) published a study entitled “An Epidemiology Study of Mortality and Radiation-Related Risk of Cancer Among Workers at the Idaho Nuclear Engineering and Environmental Laboratory.” Although the purpose of the study was to determine whether radiation exposure resulted in excess cancers among workers at the INEEL facility near Idaho Falls, Idaho, the study found that there were elevated risks for construction and maintenance workers, and asbestos workers for the diseases asbestosis and mesothelioma.


Below is a list of occupations that put Idaho 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
  • Mining
  • Nuclear Plant Workers
  • Oil Refinery Workers
  • Pipefitters
  • Plasterers
  • Power Plant Workers
  • Railroad Workers
  • Sheetmetal Workers
  • Smelting
  • U.S. Navy Veterans
  • Welders


The following is a list of the Idaho job sites 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 job sites in Idaho where asbestos was used.

Power and Nuclear Plants

  • Idaho Nuclear Engineering and Environmental Laboratory
  • Idaho Electric Power & Water
  • Intermountain Gas Co.
  • National Reactor Testing Station
  • Idaho Nuclear Corp.
  • Bettis Atomic Power Lab

Paper and Lumber Mills

  • Boise Cascade Paper Mill
  • Potlatch Paper Mill
  • Pack River Lumber Co.

Other Industry

  • Westinghouse Electric
  • Phillips Petroleum
  • Water Asbestos Supply Co.
  • Monsanto Chemical Plant
  • Bunker Hill Company
  • FMC Corp.
  • J.R. Simplot Co.


The asbestos used in Idaho’s industries have taken their toll on the health of Idaho workers with 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 between 10 and 50 years later. Due to this latency period, the number of Idaho mesothelioma deaths continues to rise even though asbestos is seldom used in Idaho today.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were 81 mesothelioma deaths in Idaho from 1999 to 2005. To put this in perspective, the state of Hawaii, which has a similar population size to that of Idaho, but very extensive asbestos use due to Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, experienced 57 mesothelioma deaths.


If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, and you believe you were exposed to asbestos in Idaho, 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.