Learn about sites of asbestos exposure throughout Hawaiʻi

Areas of Asbestos Exposure

Use this map to learn where asbestos has been found or used in Hawai‘i. Many mesothelioma victims in Hawai‘i worked in shipyards or were members of the U.S. Navy. However, asbestos exposure also occurred in the construction business, power plants, refineries, sugar mills and the auto industry. Bystanders who happened to be present at these sites were also at risk. Even spouses, children and family members of workers who were exposed at work were put at risk when workers “took home” asbestos dust on their clothing and equipment. Beyond this map, many people who live in Hawaii were also exposed to asbestos through the use of products that contain talc. Talc is commonly contaminated with asbestos, and contaminated talc can be found in dozens of personal care products from baby powder to cosmetics.

Locate asbestos job sites identified by previous mesothelioma victims.

Known Exposure Sites

The following is a list of some of the Hawaii job sites where there is a documented use of asbestos products.

  • Oahu
    • Dillingham Shipyard
    • Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard
    • Vermiculite of Hawaii
    • Ala Moana Shopping Center
    • Hawaiian Electric Co.
      • Kahe – all phases
      • Waiau – all phases
    • Amfac
    • Chevron Refinery (formerly Standard Oil)
    • Tesoro Refinery (formerly BHP)
  • Maui
    • Hawaiian Commercial Sugar
    • Matson SS Lines
    • Pioneer Mill Co.
    • Wailuku Plantation
  • Kauai
    • Kauai Electric
    • Kohala Sugar
    • Kekaha Sugar
  • Big Island (Hawai‘i)
    • Laupahoehoe Sugar Co.
    • Yamada Transfer
    • C and C, Inc.
    • Honokaa Sugar Co.
    • Hamakua Sugar Co.

Occupations at Risk

Below is a list of occupations that put Hawaii workers at a known risk of asbestos exposure.

  • Aircraft Mechanics & Repairmen
  • Automobile Mechanics
  • Boilermakers
  • Construction Workers
  • Electricians
  • Industrial Plant Workers
  • Insulators
  • Longshoremen and Stevedores
  • Oil Refinery Workers
  • Pipefitters
  • Plasterers
  • Power Plant Workers
  • Sheetmetal Workers
  • Shipyard Workers
  • U.S. Navy Veterans
  • Welders

If you worked in one of these occupations in the 1980s or earlier, there is a good chance that you were exposed to asbestos.

History of Asbestos in Hawaii

Asbestos was commonly used on board Navy ships up through the 1980s. Asbestos insulation was ideal for use on ships, because it was fireproof, waterproof, and an excellent insulator. Pipes, boilers, valves, turbines, pumps and other equipment were covered with asbestos block insulation, cloth and pads. Pipe flanges were sealed with asbestos gaskets and valves were sealed with asbestos packing. Both navy seamen and civilian shipyard workers were exposed to excessive amounts of asbestos dust during ship overhauls and repairs at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

The Hawaiian Electric Company used asbestos at all of its power generating plants. Sugar mills made extensive use of asbestos to insulate boilers, pipes, and evaporators as sugar cane was processed into raw sugar. Hawaii’s construction industry used asbestos-containing joint compound, wallboard, floor tiles, roofing material, siding, and plaster. Hawaii also has two oil refineries that used large amounts of asbestos insulation. Workers in these industries were exposed to excessive amounts of asbestos dust.

Tragically, many Hawaii workers also brought asbestos home on their clothes without realizing it. These workers and their families are at a heightened risk of mesothelioma.

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