Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma in Oregon
Asbestos exposure is quite common in Oregon, as asbestos was used in several industries and construction during the 1900s. Workers were exposed to asbestos throughout Oregon—the forests and coastline make the state perfect for industries such as lumber and paper mills, shipyards, and power plants, all which have a history of asbestos use. Asbestos exposure can lead to life-threatening illnesses including mesothelioma, a serious form of cancer, though it can take years before the illness is manifested.
If you have developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos, you may be eligible for financial compensation for you and your family with the help of MesoLawyersCare attorneys. Some examples of Oregon worksites that presented workers (and their family members) with a high risk of asbestos exposure include the following sites:
1) Boise Cascade – St. Helens, OR
Boise Cascade is a large wood products manufacturer that distributes products nationwide. The St. Helen’s Boise Cascade site manufactured tissue paper for customers across the United States. In 2008, Boise Cascade stopped its operations at the St. Helen’s mill, though the Cascade Tissue Group continues to produce tissue products there. Prior to the mid-1980s or 1990s, asbestos, known for its fire-resistant and insulation qualities, was regularly used as insulation in paper mills as it helped keep the machinery and pipes from overheating. However, when the asbestos used at Boise Cascade aged or was disturbed, it became dusty and airborne. As a result, workers were exposed to the dangerous particles floating in the air where they were for many hours every day. Many former employees who worked at Boise Cascade in St. Helens are at risk for developing asbestos related illnesses. The family members of the plant workers also were exposed to asbestos from dusty work clothing worn home.
2) Weyerhaeuser Company – Klamath Falls, OR
The Weyerhaeuser Company was founded in 1904. The Weyerhaeuser Company is one of the largest privately-owned timberland companies in the world. The company owns 12.4 million acres of timberlands in the U.S. alone. The Weyerhaeuser Company operated a large sawmill on their property in Klamath Falls from 1929 until 1996. The sawmill operations included hardboard, plywood, and particleboard manufacturing. Weyerhaeuser Company knew about the dangers of asbestos, but still used it as insulation in their mills throughout the United States and in Klamath, Oregon. The Weyerhaeuser Company failed to warn workers about the serious dangers of asbestos and thus failed to keep their workplaces safe. Weyerhaeuser also manufactured fire doors with an asbestos “core” that resulted in significant asbestos exposure to construction workers who cut the door to size or installed fixtures on the doors.
3) Kaiser Swan Island Shipyard – Portland, OR
Kaiser Swan Island Shipyard was part of a group of seven shipyards along the west coast used during WWII. The Swan Island Shipyard began operation in July 1942, and remains an industrial area today. During WWII, large ships were repaired at the shipyard. Because large ships and tankers were susceptible to fires, asbestos insulation was used between decks, around boilers, and in heaters. Asbestos blankets were also common aboard ships. For years, shipyard workers at Kaiser’s Swan Island yard worked around asbestos, either by installing insulation or while conducting repairs, putting them at risk for serious asbestos related diseases, including mesothelioma. Shipyard workers, and the crew of the ships, were commonly exposed to asbestos when the ships were overhauled, renovated or repaired.
4) Spaulding Pulp & Paper – Newberg, OR
Most paper mills built in the 20th century used substantial amounts of asbestos for insulation and sealants for boilers and other machinery because of the high heat generated in the manufacturing process, and Spaulding Pulp & Paper was no exception. Spaulding Pulp & Paper mill was built in the early 1900s. The mill began as a lumber saw mill but converted in 1927 to a paper mill. Over the years, the company expanded adding enormous machines to help in the paper making process. Just one machine would output over 3,000 feet of paper a minute. The asbestos used at paper mills like Spaulding Pulp & Paper left many workers exposed to developing serious asbestos related health problems. Workers were exposed to asbestos from the failure of the companies involved to adequately warn about the dangers of asbestos.
5) John Day Hydroelectric Plant – Rufus, OR
The John Day Hydroelectric Plant and Dam is located on the Columbia River just east of Dalles, Oregon, and just below the mouth of the John Day River. The construction for the dam began in 1958 and was finally completed in 1971. It is the fifth largest hydropower facility in the United States. The plant can produce over 2,000 megawatts of power when at full capacity. Large hydroelectric plants like the John Day plant require bulky equipment such as generators, turbines, and extensive piping. To prevent overheating in the plant, asbestos was used for its fire-retardant qualities as insulation in the machinery, as well as the concrete and even the ceiling insulation. The use of asbestos was so common, it would have been difficult for employees regularly working at the John Day Hydroelectric plant to avoid coming into contact with it. Workers were not able to take precautions to prevent asbestos exposure because the premises owner and the asbestos product manufacturers (including the equipment manufacturers) failed to adequately warn about the hazards of asbestos.
The MesoLawyersCare attorneys have won more than $10 billion dollars for people with mesothelioma and their loved ones. Our firms have successfully represented workers exposed to asbestos at worksites in Oregon and throughout the United States. For a free consultation or more information, fill out the short form on this page, have a live chat now with one of our dedicated patient advocates, or call us today.
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