Hawaii Asbestos-Related Deaths from 1999-2017
Asbestos Exposure in Hawaii
Asbestos in Buildings
Buildings in Hawaii constructed before 1980 were built with asbestos products. Schools, government buildings, and military bases contain asbestos materials and may pose a health hazard when buildings are demolished or repaired. Asbestos fibers can be found in ceilings, floor tiles, and joint compound. Government officials closely monitor the air quality of all public buildings that still contain asbestos to make sure the fibers have not become airborne. Schools in Hawaii have asbestos management plans with frequent inspections to prevent the spread of asbestos fibers and keep students safe. When asbestos fibers become airborne, they can be inhaled and enter the lungs causing deadly diseases like mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
Vermiculite Processing and Asbestos
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) determined the Honolulu vermiculite processing plant received asbestos-contaminated vermiculite from Libby, Montana. Employees and nearby residents had been at risk for asbestos exposure for decades. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted an extensive cleanup of the site in 2001. After the cleanup, the area was declared safe by the ATSDR. However, employees and former residents of the area were likely exposed to toxic asbestos fibers and are advised to monitor their health. The EPA is supervising cleanup projects at several military facilities and commercial sites in an effort to reduce future incidents of asbestos-related diseases.
Asbestos at Pearl Harbor
Decades after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the military found that thousands of people had been exposed to asbestos there. The Pearl Harbor Complex was designated as a Superfund site by the Environmental Protection Agency because of the amount of toxic materials located there, including asbestos. Several buildings are being demolished or repaired in order to clean up the asbestos materials and prevent the spread of the hazardous fibers.
Asbestos and Power Plants
Power plants in Hawaii were also a source of asbestos exposure. Many power plants used asbestos-containing materials to insulate equipment and machinery from heat and electricity generated during the process. Workers who used or repaired this equipment may have been exposed to toxic asbestos fibers.
Partial list of work sites in Hawaii with known asbestos exposure
- Camp Smith Marine Base
- Dole Pineapple Plant
- Ford Isle Aircraft Control Tower
- Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company Refinery
- Libby Pineapple Plant
- Lihue Plantation Steam Plant
- Oahu-Waipahu Sugar Refinery
- Old Koloa Sugar Refinery
- Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard
- Pearl Harbor Navy Base
- Pearl Harbor Submarine Base
- Pioneer Mill Sugar Refinery
- Puna Sugar Refinery
- Puna Sugar Steam Plant
- Schofield Army Barracks
- Standard Oil-Chevron Oil Refinery
- Kapolei-Tesoro Oil Refinery
- Ulupalakua Ranch Sugar Refinery
- Waialua Sugar Refinery
Statute of Limitations to File Mesothelioma Claim in Hawaii
There is a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit for mesothelioma that varies for each state called the statute of limitations. This means if you do not file within the time limit, you will never be able to pursue legal action or obtain compensation. It’s important that you take legal action within this time frame so you do not miss out on receiving the compensation you may deserve. Contact us here to learn more about how we can help.
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What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a deadly and rare form of malignant cancer that is caused by asbestos exposure. The most common forms of mesothelioma are: pleural and peritoneal. Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the lining of the abdominal cavity.
Victims with pleural mesothelioma may have respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue. Victims with peritoneal mesothelioma may have abdominal swelling, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss.
The latency period for mesothelioma is very long. The average latency period is about 30 years, but can be shorter than 15 years or longer than 40 years. This means individuals with mesothelioma may take decades to present symptoms from the time they were exposed to asbestos.
What is asbestosis?
Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease caused by asbestos exposure. When asbestos is inhaled the fibers irritate and scar the lining of the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. The lungs become stiff and cannot expand and contract normally. Symptoms of asbestosis are shortness of breath, chest pain, and a dry, persistent cough. Like mesothelioma, the latency period for asbestosis is very long. Symptoms may not present for 10 to 40 years after asbestos exposure.
Military Asbestos Exposure
It is extremely important to know that our attorneys do not sue the military. We seek accountability from the asbestos companies that sold dangerous asbestos products to the military.
Members of all branches of the military may have been exposed to asbestos before it became more restricted in the 1970s. The U.S. military used asbestos products in many areas because of its low cost, durability, and heat resistant properties. The common use of these asbestos products put many U.S. veterans at risk of developing asbestos related diseases, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Below is a list of the military branches and common asbestos exposure sites:
- Navy – shipyards, boiler rooms, submarines
- Army – barracks, shipyards, construction
- Marine Corps – armored vehicles, barracks, ships, aircraft
- Coast Guard – inside ships, ships, boiler rooms
- Air Force- bases, airplanes, jets, aircraft maintenance