Residents and workers in Washington, like all states, may have been (or still may be) exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos at one point in their lives. In Washington, specifically, people could have been (or still may be) exposed if they live or work in older homes that were built with asbestos-containing materials like roofing, flooring, cement, insulation and siding. Or, they may also be exposed to asbestos fibers if they live near landslide deposits in which asbestos naturally occurs.The Cascade, Okanogan and Rocky Mountain ranges located in Washington have great deposits of serpentine rock, which is where about 95% of asbestos is found.

Mesothelioma Lawyer Washington

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with an asbestos disease, such as asbestosis or mesothelioma, you can seek qualified legal help from our mesothelioma lawyers. Our attorneys are familiar with the laws governing asbestos in Washington State and can help you seek financial compensation for damages such as medical bills, lost wages and loss of social and economic support. To learn more or to schedule a consultation to discuss your case, contact us today.

Asbestos Exposure in Washington

Products made today don’t contain asbestos, due to regulations surrounding its use. But, there are several products still in use that may contain asbestos. For example, asbestos may still be found in older homes in products such as:

  • Roofs
  • Siding shingles
  • Insulation in the walls or attic
  • Textured paint
  • Popcorn ceiling
  • Patching compounds used on walls and ceilings
  • Vinyl floor tiles
  • Hot water and steam pipes
  • Oil and coal furnaces
  • Flooring around wood burning stoves

It is important to keep in mind that just because a product contains asbestos, it doesn’t necessarily mean it poses a health risk. If the material is in good condition and won’t be disturbed, it’s likely that nothing needs to be done to it. But, if the material is damaged or if you are planning on remodeling or making changes that might disturb it, you should hire a professional to handle it.

If you are unsure if a material contains asbestos and you are concerned about the risks, you should contact a professional who can have it sampled and tested. Sampling it yourself is not a good idea.

Shipyards and Asbestos Exposure in Washington

Research that was done by the National Cancer Institute showed there were higher levels of asbestos cancer among more than 4000 workers who worked at a shipbuilding facility in the Coast Guard.

There are large shipbuilding operations in Washington, namely Todd Pacific and Bremerton Naval Shipyard. They were particularly active during World War 2, employing thousands of workers. Asbestos was used as heat and fire insulation on most of those ships.

Energy Industry and Asbestos

Washington is home to nuclear and hydroelectric power plants, and these types of facilities are typically some of the most dangerous places to work given the amount of asbestos found in them. This fact has been demonstrated in a study that was done in Puerto Rico in 2007, where 13% of power plant workers were shown to have early stages of asbestos related diseases.

Oil Refineries and Asbestos

Washington is the location of several oil refineries, as well as the first US port of call for oil tankers from Alaska. Petroleum products obviously are hazardous and flammable, and asbestos materials were almost always used on machinery and equipment in these facilities.

Aluminum Manufacturing and Asbestos

Many asbestos lawsuits have been filed in this state by former workers in aluminum plants. Aluminum production is a vital industry here since the 1940s. Manufacturing aluminum requires very high levels of heat, so asbestos insulation is often used. Over the years, the materials crumble into dust as they deteriorate, and millions of deadly fibers are released into the air.

Timber Industry and Asbestos Exposure in Washington

The timber industry is big business in Washington, including paper making facilities and industries related to making paper. Materials that contain asbestos are still in many of the paper and pulp mills, where the materials often lined the machinery and materials used to make papers. Thousands of workers have worked in these facilities over the years and may have been exposed to asbestos.

Cities in Washington with Asbestos Exposure Problems

If you lived or worked in one of the cities below, you may have been exposed to asbestos:

  • Everett
  • Centralia
  • Seattle
  • Spokane
  • Tacoma
  • Vancouver
  • Olympia
  • Renton
  • Richland
  • Moses Lake
  • Bremerton
  • Bellingham

Where Does Asbestos Naturally Occur in Washington?

Asbestos has been found to occur naturally on a landslide deposit on Sumas Mountain in Whatcom County. As the area erodes, the asbestos is deposited along with sediment into Swift Creek and Sumas River, north to the Canadian border.

Health advisories have been issued by the Whatcom County Health Department and the Washington State Department of Health to residents along Swift Creek and the Sumas River. Federal, state and local agencies are working on the situation and have provided residents with measures they should take to limit their exposure.

Mesothelioma Statistics in Washington

From 1980 until 2000, the population of the state increased by 50% and was almost 6 million in 2000. During the last 20 years, 1776 people died from asbestos related diseases.

Diagnosed with Mesothelioma or Another Asbestos-Related Illness?

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a condition caused by asbestos exposure, it is important that you speak with an experienced Washington mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney with experience specific to your state will be able to help you narrow your asbestos exposure down and seek compensation from the responsible parties. To learn more about your rights or to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney, please contact us today.