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Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure in Washington


If you live in the state of Washington and have worked there for significant amount of time, there is a chance that you were exposed to asbestos in the workplace. Prolonged exposure to asbestos can lead to serious health problems including mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer and other non-malignant lung impairments.

To assist people who live in Washington, we have provided statistics about asbestos and mesothelioma in Washington. We have also included descriptions of the industries and lists of cities, towns and specific job sites in Washington where asbestos exposure is likely to have occurred. Treatment options and recent news about asbestos and mesothelioma in Washington are also provided.

Asbestos and Mesothelioma Statistics in Washington

From 1999-2015, 1,338 Washington residents died from mesothelioma

  • Washington’s mesothelioma death rate of 12.2 per million people is much higher than the national average (Source: CDC)
  • Washington has 34 known asbestos deposits and mines (Source: USGS)
  • Kitsap and Mason Counties have the highest mesothelioma mortality rates in the state, with the northeastern counties of Ferry, Stevens, and Pend Oreille also having high death rates from the cancer (Source: Journal of the American Medical Association)

Asbestos Exposure in Washington Workplaces

Together, the mining and maritime industries have made residents and visitors of the State of Washington particularly vulnerable to asbestos exposure.


Washington State's Cascade, Okanogan, and Rocky Mountain ranges have an abundance of serpentine rock, which is the source of 95% of all commercial asbestos. In addition to five major asbestos mines in the northern part of the state, several serpentine deposits are located in the center of the state in the vicinity of Ellensburg and Wenatchee.


The Northwest Pacific Coast is a major commercial shipping center, with ports in Puget Sound and other areas along the coastline. As a result, cities like Seattle, Tacoma, and Vancouver, WA, all have major shipyards with a history of exposing shipbuilders and dock workers to asbestos, given the large amounts of the material that have been used in ocean-going vessels in the past. A few of the shipyards located in Washington include Talbott Shipyard, Kaiser Shipyard, and Voyage Repair Station.


For decades, the timber industry has been at the heart of Washington State’s economy, including paper and paper products. Asbestos-containing materials are still to be found in the state’s many paper and pulp mills, where they were used in the machinery and materials used in the paper-making process itself, such as drying felts and the adhesives used to affix them. A few of the timber and paper companies operating in Washington include Scott Paper Company, Anderson Middleton Lumber Company, E. K. Wood Lumber Company, and Weyerhauser Timber Company.


Washington State is the first U.S. port of call for tankers from Alaska and home to numerous oil refineries. As petroleum is a hazardous substance at all stages of production, asbestos materials were used almost everywhere from fire doors to the asbestos-lined overcoats, hoods, and gloves. Some of the major petroleum players to expose employees and others to asbestos in Washington include BP Oil, Chevron Chemical, Shell Oil, Texaco, and Mobil.


Several asbestos lawsuits have been filed in Washington by former employees of the state’s several aluminum plants. Aluminum production has been an important industry since World War II, and because the manufacturing process requires high levels of heat, asbestos was often used to protect workers and machinery from damage by fire. ALCOA Aluminum smelters in Vancouver and Wenatchee are notorious for their asbestos exposure, but other companies have had problems as well, including Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation, INTALCO Aluminum, Harvey Aluminum, and Columbia Aluminum.

Washington Asbestos Shipyards

Washington has a strong shipping industry, and the use of asbestos in ships of all sizes has led to the risk for developing mesothelioma in many former shipbuilders.

Bremerton Naval Shipyard

Initially built as a repair site, the Bremerton Naval Shipyard also began building naval ships during World War I. During the Second World War, it helped to repair some of the still-floating vessels damaged at Pearl Harbor, while also helping to replenish the Pacific Fleet decimated during the same attack. In more recent years, the shipyard is involved more in dismantling decommissioned ships (primarily nuclear-powered vessels) and maintaining the U.S. Navy’s “mothball fleet” of inactive ships held in reserve. Through all of the repair and restoration work done over the years, many veterans and civilian workers have been exposed to dangerous amounts of asbestos.

Duwamish Shipyard

This Seattle shipyard sprang into operation in 1939 with a focus on commercial ships of all sizes, including everything from tugboats to barges. Although a relatively small operation with only a couple hundred workers at its peak, workers at Duwamish Shipyard saw their fair share of asbestos in their construction, repair, and dismantling work. Workers like those at the shipyard are at a much greater risk of developing mesothelioma than the average individual, and some of those workers from Duwamish have gone on to file mesothelioma lawsuits because of that exposure.

Kaiser Shipyard

Located at the southern border of Washington State in Vancouver, WA, this shipyard was built by Henry Kaiser in direct response to the entrance of the United States into World War II. Combined with his shipyards in other Pacific Coast states, Kaiser was responsible for the construction of more than 1,500 ships for the war effort. Many of the men and women who built those ships, however, were exposed to deadly levels of asbestos, and some of them later were diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Washington Cities with Asbestos Problems

Provided below is a list of cities in the state of Washington where asbestos use in the workplace is known to have occurred. Click on a city below to see more detailed information about the specific job sites where asbestos exposure occurred.

Asbestos Risks at Smaller Washington Job Sites

Workplace asbestos exposure is also a concern if one looks beyond the major cities and towns in Washington. Select a town below to see the list of its job sites known to have exposed workers to asbestos. Asbestos exposure at any one of the job sites revealed could have placed a worker at risk to develop mesothelioma cancer and other asbestos-related diseases.

Mesothelioma Cancer Centers in Washington

If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma and live in the state of Washington, the following cancer centers have experts who can help with developing a mesothelioma treatment plan. Click on a specific cancer center link to obtain a more detailed description.

1100 Fairview Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109

1221 Madison Street
Arnold Pavilion
Seattle, WA 98104

1959 NE Pacific Street
Seattle, WA 98195

Contact a Mesothelioma Doctor in Washington

If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma and live in the state of Washington, the following doctors who have expertise in mesothelioma treatment and who practice in Washington are available to assist you. Click on a specific doctor to obtain more information about his/her background, areas of expertise, professional affiliations, and office locations.

Dr. Alexander Farivar
Swedish Cancer Institute at Swedish Medical Center
Swedish Thoracic Surgery-First Hill
Seattle, WA 98104

Dr. Eric Vallieres
Swedish Cancer Institute at Swedish Medical Center
Swedish Thoracic Surgery-First Hill
Seattle, WA 98104

Dr. Howard Jack West
Swedish Cancer Institute at Swedish Medical Center
Medical Oncology-Swedish Cancer Institute First Hill
Seattle, WA 98104

Dr. Michael S. Mulligan
University of Washington Medical Center
Thoracic Surgery Clinic at UWMC
Seattle, WA 98195

Limited Time to File a Mesothelioma Suit

Don’t lose your right to file a mesothelioma claim. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and were exposed to asbestos in Washington, you may be entitled to compensation. You must file your claim within the appropriate statute of limitations for the state of Washington.

Support for Washington Mesothelioma Caregivers

Asbestos-Related News in Washington

Washington Asbestos Contractor Charged With Falsifying Disposal Documents

A1 Asbestos LLC is being accused of falsifying disposal documents to an Okanogan County landfill and offering false statements to state department officials.

$3.5 Million Awarded In Second-Hand Asbestos Exposure Case

Barbara Brandes dies of mesothelioma cancer contracted through secondary household asbestos exposure and $3.5 million is awarded to her estate as a result.

Find Mesothelioma Doctors, Lawyers and Asbestos Exposure Sites Near You


Cabrera-Santiago, Manuel et al. “Prevalence of Asbestos-Related Disease Among Electrical Power Generation Workers in Puerto Rico.” Presentation at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, 2007.

Geological Research, Analyses and Services Programs. "Naturally Occurring Asbestos Locations in the Contiguous U.S. and Alaska." Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 25 May 2007. (accessed 23 August 2010).

Krstev, S. et al. “Mortality Among Shipyard Coast Guard Workers: A Retrospective Cohort Study.” Occupational and Environmental Medicine 64 (October 2007): 651-8.

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