Honolulu is a thriving city that houses the main economic center in the entire state of Hawaii. The city has a strong trading industry and a large military presence at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. Yet, as lucrative and thriving as the city is, around 423 people have died in Honolulu from asbestos exposure.
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.
Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard
The Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, one of the most famous shipyards in the United States, currently employs more 1,400 employees, 2,000 wage personnel, and more than 500 apprentices. However, even though its been years since asbestos was heavily used at the Pearl Harbor shipyard, current workers should take heed that asbestos remediation is still happening. In fact, the shipyard is home to a Superfund cleanup site, designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Although the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard continues ongoing efforts to dispose of asbestos once used and to keep its workers safe, it was once littered with massive amounts of the life-threatening mineral, throughout the majority of the shipyard’s 112 acres. Asbestos 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 debilitating, life-threatening diseases caused by asbestos inhalation and ingestion. Other former workers are still alive today, and live 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, the Vermiculite of Hawaii Plant, located in Honolulu, operated as a vermiculite exfoliation facility, receiving received asbestos-contaminated vermiculite for nearly 30 years.
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.
The plant was so contaminated with asbestos that the ATSDR placed it on the top priority list for clean-up. Prior to 2001, however, not only were workers who were exposed to asbestos at risk for developing fatal illnesses, but residents and anyone within the vicinity of the plant faced the same risks.
Asbestos Alerts in Schools
Honolulu, along with the rest of the state of Hawaii, were on high alert for asbestos in 2005 after many old school buildings began to age rapidly and deteriorate. Although it doesn’t necessarily mean that students were going to ingest asbestos fibers, the risk was high enough that the EPA got involved and reminded the state of the potential hazards and how asbestos affects almost all schools and schools districts in Hawaii.
In 1986, Congress passed the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, 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 on Hawaii school, King Intermediate School, didn’t properly dispose of asbestos after an exterior paint job, which has many people worried if the Hawaii Department of Education can actually handle all of the schools’ asbestos issues.
Concerned parents should seek legal representation if they feel their children are in danger and/or if state laws regarding asbestos are not being followed.
“Only One Company Properly Bagged Their Turnout Gear”
Strict rules are in place for asbestos abatement in Hawaii, so it came as a disturbing shock to many Honolulu residents when the Honolulu Fire Department violated standards and failed to reduce asbestos exposure during a 2017 fire at the Marco Polo high rise building off of Kapiolani.
“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 as a reminder that Hawaii has stern guidelines to help keep the public safe.
Additional Job Sites, Businesses, and Buildings Associated with Asbestos Use in Honolulu
Unfortunately, there were a plethora of businesses that once used asbestos. 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
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.