Asbestos was used in a variety of ways in Washington. One of the largest sources of asbestos exposure came from the state’s numerous shipyards. Washington had a thriving shipbuilding industry. In addition, thousands of U.S. Navy vessels were overhauled, and repaired at Bremerton and Puget Sound Naval Shipyards.

Until the 1980s, naval and commercial vessels were built with thousands of tons of asbestos on board. Asbestos insulation, packing and gaskets were heavily used on marine equipment and steam lines. Commercial vessels were similar. As a result, workers at these shipyards were heavily exposed to asbestos

Due to its abundant rainfall, Washington is also home to numerous lumber companies and paper mills. These companies used asbestos throughout their manufacturing facilities, from insulation on steam lines to gaskets and packing in equipment. Asbestos was also used as a raw material. In the 1960s and 70s, many paper companies used tons of raw asbestos fiber as a strengthening agent in their products.

Asbestos was also used in the state’s many oil refineries, in power plants, and in the state’s aeronautics manufacturing facilities. Like the paper mills, these facilities made heavy use of asbestos as an insulating material and a component of industrial equipment.


Below is a list of occupations that put Washington 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
  • Pipefitters
  • Plasterers
  • Power Plant Workers
  • Railroad Workers
  • Shipyard Workers
  • Sheetmetal Workers
  • U.S. Navy Veterans
  • Welders


The use of asbestos products has been documented at thousands of Washington job sites, far too many to list here. The list below is only a representative sample of the many job sites in Washington where asbestos was used.

If you or a family member worked in one of these places, or if you believe that you were exposed to asbestos at another site, please contact one of our mesothelioma attorneys for more information.


  • Bremerton Naval Shipyard
  • Strategic Weapons Facility, Atlantic
  • Duwamish Shipyard
  • Kaiser Shipyard
  • Lake Union Drydock
  • Lockheed Shipyard
  • Marco Shipyard
  • Naval Station Everett
  • Puget Sound Bridge Yards
  • Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
  • Seattle Shipyard
  • Tacoma Drydock
  • Todd Shipyards
  • Vancouver Shipyard
  • Voyage Repair Station Port Angeles

Paper Mills & Lumber

  • Aircraft Plywood Corp.
  • Boise Cascade Corp.
  • Cascade Paper Co.
  • Crown Columbia Paper Co.
  • Crown Willamette Paper Co.
  • E.K. Wood Lumber Co.
  • Georgia Pacific
  • Harbor Plywood Corp.
  • Hoquiam Plywood Co.
  • Inland Empire Paper Co.
  • National Paper Products Co.
  • Nippon Paper Industries
  • St. Regis Paper Co.
  • St. Croix Paper Co.
  • Tacoma Paperboard
  • Weyerhauser Co.

Oil & Refineries

  • Arco Refinery
  • American Smelting & Refining Co.
  • Chevron
  • Conoco Phillips Co.
  • General Petroleum Refinery
  • Mobil Oil
  • Shell Oil
  • Sound Oil Co.
  • Sound Refining, Inc.
  • Spear & Burke Oil Co.
  • Standard Oil
  • Texaco
  • Union Oil Co.

Other Industry

  • Alaskan Copper Works
  • Alcoa Aluminum
  • Bechtel Corp.
  • Blaw Knox Co.
  • Boeing Co.
  • Dow Chemical
  • El Tee Tool & Supply Co.
  • Fibreboard Products Inc.
  • Harvey Aluminum
  • Hooker Electric Chemical
  • Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical
  • Kaiser Cement
  • Kaiser Steel
  • Kennecott Copper Corp.
  • Melbran Distributing Co.
  • Mobil Chemical
  • Monsanto Chemical Co.
  • Naval Supply Depot
  • Owens-Corning Fiberglas
  • Pacific Car & Foundry
  • Rice Safety Equipment Co.
  • Safety & Supply
  • Union Pacific Railroad
  • United States Gypsum Co.


Washington’s shipyards, paper mills, refineries, and aeronautics plants used literally thousands of tons of asbestos. As a result, Washington residents have suffered from high rates of mesothelioma, a deadly cancer of the lining of the lungs and abdomen caused by asbestos exposure.

Even though asbestos is rarely used today, the number of mesothelioma deaths in Washington continues to rise. This is due to the long latency period. Typically, it takes anywhere from 10 to 50 years to develop mesothelioma after the initial exposure to asbestos. This means that Washington’s high rates of disease are likely to continue well into the next decade.

According to the CDC, at least 466 Washington residents died of mesothelioma in the years 1999 to 2005. Washington was ranked number 11 among the states with the highest incidence of mesothelioma in the country.


If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, and you are considering filing a lawsuit, we urge you to contact one of our lawyers for a free consultation. You should be aware that it is important to act quickly, because you have limited amount of time to file suit.

Our firm has decades of experience in the asbestos litigation. We have represented numerous shipyard workers, Navy veterans, and other clients who were diagnosed with mesothelioma after being exposed in Washington. We have the expertise you need to investigate the sources of your exposure, and determine what companies were responsible.