Honolulu is Hawaii’s largest city. It’s economy has long been based on trade and the large military presence at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. Many of the important industries in the area used asbestos in the past and put Honolulu residents and workers at risk of exposure and diseases like mesothelioma.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Fill out our form to get a free Financial Compensation Packet. You’ll learn about the top mesothelioma lawyers in Honolulu, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file a claim for the asbestos trust funds, and more.
Honolulu Asbestos Facts
- With its smaller population and less industrialized economy, Hawaii has seen fewer asbestos-related deaths than other states.
- Honolulu has the highest number of asbestos deaths, with over 400 between 1999 and 2013.
- U.S. Navy veterans were at particular risk of exposure to asbestos because it was used in so many ship materials and components.
- The Vermiculite of Hawaii plant also put workers at risk in processing this asbestos-contaminated mineral.
Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard
The Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, one of the most famous shipyards in the United States, currently employs thousands of people. It has been years since asbestos was heavily used at the Pearl Harbor shipyard, but current workers could still be exposed during remediation efforts.
The Pearl Harbor shipyard is home to a Superfund cleanup site, designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Asbestos at Pearl Harbor was used in:
- Stall lots
- Dry dock stations
- Ship parts
- Valves and gaskets
- Plumbing and electrical insulation
- Deck materials
From the 1940s until the 1970s, asbestos was used so heavily at the shipyard that numerous former workers have passed away from diseases caused by asbestos exposure. Other workers are currently living with malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses.
Vermiculite of Hawaii Plant
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), from 1953 until 1983, Honolulu’s Vermiculite of Hawaii Plant received hundreds of shipments of asbestos-contaminated vermiculite. The plant was an exfoliation site, a type of processing that puts workers at particular risk of asbestos exposure
Even after asbestos use was discontinued at the plant, fibers were present decades later, until around 2001, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) performed a cleanup at the site. Both workers and nearby residents were put at risk because of the activities of the plant.
Asbestos Alerts in Schools
Around 2005 residents were warned that Honolulu and other area schools posed asbestos exposure risks to students and staff. The risk was high enough that the EPA got involved and reminded the state of the potential hazards.
In 1986, Congress passed the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), which mandates that all public and private schools in the United States must develop, plan, and carry out asbestos safety plans, including routine inspections and maintenance.
Unfortunately, employees in one Hawaii school, King Intermediate School, didn’t properly dispose of asbestos after an exterior paint job. This led to concerns that the Hawaii Department of Education had not been following AHERA as required.
Honolulu Fire Department Cited for Poor Asbestos Practice
Hawaii has strict rules for asbestos abatement, so it came as a shock to many Honolulu residents when the Honolulu Fire Department violated asbestos safety standards. Firefighters failed to take appropriate steps to reduce exposure during a 2017 fire at the Marco Polo high rise building.
“Only one company bagged their turn-out gear and equipment at the scene and the rest of the companies did not do so until they returned to their stations. Some fire fighters did not bag their contaminated turn-out gear until the end of their shift i.e. next morning. As a result, the fire trucks and/or the fire stations may be contaminated with asbestos and/or other hazardous materials,” a citation by the Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division (HIOSH) stated, according to Hawaii News Now.
The mistake not only put firefighters and the public at risk, but it also came with steep fines.
Additional Sites Associated with Asbestos in Honolulu
Many buildings and structures that were constructed with asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in Hawaii still remain today.
Mills and Plants
- Honolulu Planing Mill
- Kahe Power Plant
- Kohala Sugar Mill
- Pioneer Mill Company
- Alexander Young Building
- Alexander & Baldwin Building
- Honolulu Hale
- Honolulu Museum of Art
- City of Honolulu Building
- Marco Polo Highrise
- King Intermediate School
- Haleiwa Elementary School
- Aliamanu Middle School
- Aiea Elementary School
- Farrington High School
- University of Hawaii, Moore Hall
Other Job Sites, Buildings, and Businesses
- Aloha State Sales
- Dole Food Co./ HI Top Fruits
- Ewa Plantation Co.
- Hawaii Gas
- Honolulu Iron Works
- Hawaiian Pineapple Co.
- Schofield Barracks
- Von Hamm Young Company
- La Haina Plantation
- Ford Isle Tower
- Hawaiian Tuna Packers
- Queens Medical Center
Medical Assistance in Honolulu
If you or a loved one suffer from mesothelioma, asbestosis, or any other asbestos-related diseases, there are two cancer centers in Hawaii that provide innovative and comprehensive treatment options.
Cancer Research Center of Hawaii
651 Ilalo Street, BSB 231
Honolulu, HI 96813
University of Hawaii Cancer Center
701 Ilalo Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Distance: 1.8 miles
Getting Legal Assistance in Honolulu
If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be entitled to compensatory damages. Get our free Financial Compensation Packet for information on the top mesothelioma and asbestos lawyers in your area. If you have questions or need assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.
Page Reviewed and Edited by Mesothelioma Attorney Paul Danziger
Paul Danziger grew up in Houston, Texas and earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. For over 25 years years he has focused on representing mesothelioma cancer victims and others hurt by asbestos exposure. Paul and his law firm have represented thousands of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, recovering hundreds of millions of dollars for injured clients. Every client is extremely important to Paul and he will take every call from clients who want to speak with him. Paul and his law firm handle mesothelioma cases throughout the United States.