Naval ship under construction at Bath Iron Works, Bath, ME

Maine is well known for its proud history of shipbuilding. Bath Iron Works Shipbuilding has been building and modernizing ships in Maine for over a hundred years. Likewise, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, established in the 1800’s, has been a premier facility building and overhauling the Navy’s submarine fleet. During World War II, shipbuilding was also a major industry in South Portland, Maine where Liberty Ships were produced at record speed for the war effort. Asbestos products were used extensively at all three of these facilities in the construction and repair of both navy and commercial ships and submarines, causing thousands of workers to be exposed. Asbestos cancers, including mesothelioma, have been diagnosed in workers from all of these shipbuilding facilities.

Other industries that once flourished in Maine also utilized asbestos products. While most of the paper and woolen mills in Maine have closed, these mills were once found throughout all of northern Maine. These plants utilized asbestos insulation as did power plants and other manufacturing facilities in Maine. This has resulted in thousands of workers being exposed to asbestos products.

Sadly, the statistics on mesothelioma deaths indicate that Maine has more than twice the average number of cases when compared to other states. In fact, in 2009, the Centers for Disease Control found that Maine had the highest incidence per capita of mesothelioma of any state.

Hundreds of Maine residents have died from mesothelioma or asbestosis over the past 40 years. Because asbestos-related cancers develop decades after exposure, asbestos-related deaths continue to be found among people in Maine. Experts believe that the incidence of mesothelioma will continue to rise for many years before reaching its peak, followed by a gradual decline. Thousands of mesothelioma cases will continue to be diagnosed nationally for many years to come.


Below is a list of occupations that put Maine 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
  • Brick and Stone Masons
  • Carpenters
  • Chemical Plant Workers
  • Construction Workers
  • Crane and Hoist Men
  • Drill Press Operators
  • Drywall Tapers
  • Electric Power Linemen & Cable Men
  • Electricians
  • Engineers
  • Firefighters
  • Foundry Workers
  • Grinding Machine Operators
  • Heavy Equipment Mechanics
  • HVAC Workers
  • Industrial Engineers
  • Industrial Plant Workers
  • Insulators
  • Iron Workers
  • Laborers
  • Longshoremen and Stevedores
  • Machine Operators
  • Machinists
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Merchant Marines
  • Metal Lathers
  • Millwrights & Mill Workers
  • OperPaper Mill Workers
  • Painters
  • Pipefitters
  • Plasterers
  • Plumbers
  • Power Plant Workers
  • Railroad Workers
  • Roofers and Slaters
  • Sheet metal Workers
  • Shipyard Workers
  • Steamfitters
  • Textile Operators
  • Tile Setters
  • U.S. Navy Veterans
  • Welders


The following is a list of some of the Maine 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 Maine where asbestos was used.


  • Bath Iron Works
  • New England Shipbuilding Corporation
  • Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
  • South Portland Shipyard

Paper and Woolen Mills

  • American Woolen Mills
  • Eastern Fine Paper, Inc.
  • Eastland Woolen Mill
  • Fraser Paper Ltd.
  • Georgia Pacific Corp
  • Great Northern Paper Co – Millinocket Mill
  • International Paper Co – Androscoggin Mill
  • International Paper Co – Otil Mill
  • Kennebec River Pulp & Paper Co – Abenaki Mill
  • Lincoln Paper Co
  • Madison Paper Corp.
  • Oxford Paper Company
  • Scott Paper Company
  • S. D. Warren Co – Cumberland Mills
  • St. Regis Paper Co

Power Plants

  • Bangor Hydro-Electric Company
  • Central Maine Power Company
  • Central Maine Power Co- William F. Wyman Station
  • Maine Yankee Atomic Power Plant

Additional Sites

  • B & M Railroad
  • Bates College
  • Bowdoin College
  • Chevron Oil Co
  • Dow Air Force Base
  • Eastern Refractories
  • Fairchild Semiconductor Co
  • Loring Air Force Base
  • Maine Maritime Academy
  • University Of Maine
  • Aroostook Potato Co.
  • Eastern Refractories Inc.
  • New England Insulation Co.
  • Simplex Wire & Cable Co.
  • W. L. Blake & Company


The high levels of asbestos used in Maine’s industries are reflected in the health of Maine 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 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 Maine mesothelioma deaths continues to rise even though asbestos is seldom used in Maine today.

In 2009, the US Centers for Disease Control released data showing that Maine had the highest death rates per capita from mesothelioma than any other state. Analyzing data collected from 1999-2005, the Centers for Disease Control found that in the United States there were on average 14 deaths per million caused by mesothelioma. But in the State of Maine, that number was nearly doubled at 27 deaths per million deaths from mesothelioma.


Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman has worked on behalf of workers from Maine to help them recover compensation for their mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, and you believe you were exposed to asbestos in Maine, 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.