California Asbestos-Related Deaths from 1999-2017

Mesothelioma Deaths
Asbestosis Deaths
Total Deaths

Asbestos Exposure in California

Several locations in California have been designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as Superfund sites. Many of these sites have been given the designation because of asbestos-related problems and are given special cleanup attention from the EPA. The Hunters Point Naval Shipyard received EPA intervention because of its widespread use of asbestos which put several Navy veterans at risk for disease due to asbestos exposure. Also in California, the W.R. Grace site caused an environmental risk to the area and nearby residents because of asbestos contamination.

Mining and Asbestos Exposure

California has a large amount of naturally occurring asbestos, which made asbestos mining a major industry in the state. Workers in asbestos mines were at an extremely high risk of asbestos exposure. Asbestos has also been found in other California mines, such as coal, talc, and gold. Disturbing asbestos fibers during the mining process causes the toxic fibers to become airborne. When the fibers are inhaled by workers or other individuals, deadly asbestos-related diseases can develop.

The King City Asbestos Company (KCAC) mine in California was the last operating asbestos mine in the U.S. when it closed in 2002. The mine was founded in 1957 and was purchased in 1985 by King City Asbestos Company. KCAC continued mining large asbestos deposits for nearly two decades when it finally closed. Workers in this mine were exposed to hazardous asbestos fibers and could develop deadly asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.

Asbestos in Shipyards

California has several industries and businesses known for asbestos use including shipyards, paper mills, oil refineries and military bases. The Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco was used solely by the Navy for shipbuilding, repair and maintenance back in the 1940s. Asbestos was used regularly at the shipyard as was common with most shipyards at the time. In the late 1980s, tests at the site confirmed the presence of several hazardous substances, including asbestos. The shipyard was later shut down in 1991 and reopened in 1995 after an extensive cleanup and removal of asbestos-contaminated materials.

Oil Refineries and Asbestos

California is home to several oil refineries and offshore oil platforms. Also, because of the size of the state, there are a large number of power plants. Both the oil industry and energy industry used asbestos-containing materials to insulate from heat, electricity, and fire. Individuals working in these industries may have been exposed to asbestos.

Asbestos Lawsuits

The Moore Dry Dock Company has been the subject of several lawsuits related to asbestos exposure and the W.R. Grace Company filed for bankruptcy in 2001 because of asbestos-related suits. W.R. Grace operated from 1950 to 1977 processing vermiculite from Libby, Montana. The vermiculite was tainted with asbestos and according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) the site received more than 120,000 tons of contaminated vermiculite. This put residents near the site and employees at risk for asbestos exposure.

Partial list of work sites in California with known asbestos exposure
  • Aerojet General Aerospace Plant
  • Alameda Naval Air Station
  • Alcan aka Howmet/Alumax
  • American Potash & Chemical
  • Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO) Refinery
  • Avoset Creamery
  • Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Transbay Tunnel
  • Beckman-Coulter Instruments Plant
  • Bethlehem Steel Shipyard
  • California Shipbuilding Company
  • Camarillo State Mental Hospital
  • Camp Kearney/Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar
  • Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base
  • Campbell Shipyard
  • Carlsbad Steam Plant
  • Chevron Oil Refinery
  • Columbia Steel Mill
  • Conair Aircraft Plant
  • Conoco Philips-UNOCAL-Tosco Oil Refinery
  • Consolidated Aircraft Corp
  • Consolidated Steel Shipyard
  • Container Corporation of America Paper Mill
  • Crown Zellerbach Paper Mill
  • Diamond National Paper Mill
  • Dow Chemical Plant
  • Dupont Chemical Plant
  • Etiwanda Steam Plant
  • Exxon Oil Refinery
  • Fibreboard Paper Mill
  • Ford Assembly Plant
  • Fullerton College
  • General Dynamics Corp.
  • General Electric Plant
  • Georgia Pacific Pulp and Paper Mill
  • Golden West Refinery
  • Goodyear Tire & Rubber Plant
  • Hamms Brewery
  • Harbor Boat Building Company
  • Hartford Building
  • Hercules Steam Plant
  • Hunt Canned Foods Plant
  • Hunters Point Steam Plant
  • Hunters Point Naval Shipyard
  • Huntington Beach Steam Plant
  • Hunt-Wesson Tomato Cannery
  • Industrial Command U.S. Naval Repair Base
  • Johns-Manville Plant
  • Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical
  • Kaiser Gypsum Plant
  • Kaiser Steel Mill
  • Keasby-Mattison Pipe Plant
  • Kern Steam Plant
  • Kerr McGee Chemical Plant
  • Kimberly-Clark Paper Mill
  • Lawrence Atomic Radiation Laboratory
  • Lockheed Martin Aircraft Plant
  • Long Beach Auditorium
  • Long Beach Naval Shipyard
  • Los Angeles County Hospital
  • Los Angeles County Jail
  • Los Angeles Independent School District
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Mare Island Naval Shipyard
  • Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar
  • McClelland Air Force Base
  • Mercy County Hospital
  • Mobil Oil Refinery
  • Moffett Field Naval Air Station
  • Monsanto
  • Moore Drydock Shipyard
  • Morro Bay Steam Plant
  • Moss Landing Steam Plant
  • National Steel Shipbuilding (NASSCO) aka General Dynamics shipyard
  • Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island
  • Naval Supply Center
  • Naval Training Center (NTC)
  • Norris Thermador Plant
  • Norton Air Force Base
  • Owens-Corning Insulation Plant
  • Oxnard Powerhouse
  • Pabco Manufacturing Plant
  • Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) “Pittsburg” Steam Plant
  • Peninsula Hospital
  • Phillips 66 Oil Refinery
  • Point Loma Naval Submarine Base
  • Port Nimitz Naval Base
  • Portland Cement Plant
  • Proctor & Gamble Chemical Plant
  • Ralph M. Parsons Plant
  • Redondo Beach Steam Plant
  • Richfield Oil Refinery
  • Richmond Kaiser Shipyard
  • Safeway Stores
  • San Bernardino Hospital
  • San Diego Gas & Electric Building
  • San Diego Marine Base
  • San Diego Naval Shipyard
  • San Diego Steam Plant
  • San Diego Radio School
  • San Diego State University
  • San Francisco Naval Shipyard
  • Santa Monica Library
  • Schlitz Brewery
  • Sears, Roebuck Building
  • Shell Chemical Plant
  • Shell Oil Refinery
  • Shell Research and Development Building
  • Silver Gate Power Plant
  • Sonoma State Hospital
  • South Bay Power Plant
  • Southern California Edison Power Plant
  • Southern California Heat Treating
  • Southern Pacific Railroad
  • Southwest Marine Shipyard
  • Spreckels Sugar Refinery
  • Standard Oil Refinery
  • Stanford Research Institute
  • Stanford University
  • Stauffer Chemical Plant
  • Texaco Refinery
  • Thorpe Insulation Office & Warehouse
  • Tidewater Oil Refinery
  • Tishman Office Building
  • Todd Shipyard
  • Treasure Island Naval
  • Turco Chemical Plant
  • U.S. Gypsum
  • U.S. Rubber Tire & Synthetic Rubber Plant
  • U.S. Steel Shipyard
  • U.S.S. Cavalier
  • Union 76 Refinery
  • Union Carbide Chemical Plant
  • Union Carbide Mine
  • Union Oil Refinery
  • Union Pacific Switchyard
  • United California Bank
  • University of California at San Diego
  • University of California La Jolla Apartments
  • University of California Medical Center
  • University of Southern California
  • UNOCAL Oil Refinery
  • UNOCAL Chemical Plant in Brea
  • US Borax Plant
  • Valley Electric Steam Plant
  • Vandenberg Air Force Base
  • Wells Fargo Bank Building
  • Western Pipe & Steel Shipyard

Statute of Limitations to File Mesothelioma Claim in California

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