Portland, the most populous city in Oregon, enjoys a diverse economy, with special emphasis in the software, advanced manufacturing, engineering, and the business finance industries. However, its long history with the oil industry and shipyards has been associated with heavy asbestos use, leading to numerous former workers and residents developing mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer.
If you or a loved one suffer from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may qualify for substantial compensation. Fill out our form to get a free Financial Compensation Packet. You’ll learn about the top mesothelioma lawyers in Portland, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file a claim for the asbestos trust funds, and more.
Established in 1942, the Portland Shipyard was created in an effort to help out during World War II. Along with building ships, Portland Shipyard was also responsible for quickly repairing damaged vessels. The shipyard workers were efficient and productive, making Portland Shipyards one of the most important shipyards for both large and small vessels during its time.
As with most other shipyard workers during World War II and many years after, however, employees and contractors at Portland Shipyard were constantly exposed to asbestos. The following are among some of the many types of equipment, parts, and operations in which asbestos was utilized at the Portland Shipyard:
- Welding blankets
- Boilers, and more
Unfortunately, a multitude of Portland residents developed asbestos-related illnesses after working at the Portland Shipyard. Numerous local workers with general maintenance skills were hired to work at the shipyard, alongside people with vessel and maritime experience, including:
- Vessel mechanics
- Pipe fitters
The Oregon Department of Human Services, along with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), evaluated Portland’s Vermiculite Northwest facility and determined that both former workers and household members of former workers at the facility are at an extremely high risk for developing asbestos-related illnesses. From 1967 until 1994, workers around the facility were in exposed to heightened levels of asbestos. Those who worked inside the building in 1993 were also at risk for asbestos exposure, although the amount is not known.
Vermiculite Northwest processed vermiculite asbestos at its facilities; much of the asbestos was shipped from the Libby, Montana. Once the asbestos was processed, it was used for attic insulation. Vermiculite, a naturally-occurring form of asbestos, was used for its heat and fire-resistant properties.
Ironically, even though it was originally meant to protect people from injuries, vermiculite exposure ended up harming many people who worked at Vermiculite Northwest. In addition, since asbestos-related diseases tend to lie dormant for many decades, people who were exposed to asbestos at the plant may not have been diagnosed yet.
If you or a loved one worked at Vermiculite Northwest, the Oregon Department of Human Services recommends getting routine medical check-ups. Always inform your physician that you may have been exposed to asbestos.
Other Businesses, Buildings, and Job Sites Associated with Asbestos in Portland
Unfortunately, a myriad of companies, buildings, and job sites were once associated with asbestos. Some of these buildings still remain today, although federal and state laws have strict requirements in order to prevent asbestos disruption.
Schools and Hospitals
- Jefferson High School
- Concordia College
- John Adams High School
- Lewis & Clark College
- Marylhurst University
- Mt. Hood Community College
- University of Oregon
- Portland State University
- Oregon Health & Science University
- Legacy Emanuel Medical Center
- Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center
- Saint Vincent’s Hospital
- Woodland Park Hospital
- Lincoln High School
- Treadwell Nursing Home
- Albina Shipyard
- Dyer Shipyard
- Swan Island Shipyard
- Willamette Iron and Steel Shipyard
Chemical and Oil Companies
- Chipman Chemical
- Chevron Chemical Fertilizer Plant
- Paramount Oil Refinery
- Rhone-Poulenc Chemical Plant
- Stauffer Chemical Plant
- Shell Oil
- Standard Oil
- Union Oil Company
- Klamath Chemical
- Pennwalt Chemicals
- Oregon Steel Mills, Inc.
- Columbia Steel Casting Company, Inc.
- Electric Steel Foundry Company (ESCO)
- Gilmore Steel Corporation
- American Pipe & Construction
- Leonard Construction Company
- Raderfab Construction
Apartments and Hotels
- King Plaza Apartments
- Raleigh Scholls Apartments
- The Benson
- Cosmopolitan Motor Hotel
- Imperial Hotel
- Multnomah Hotel
Additional Businesses and Buildings
- Acme Trading & Supply Company
- Armstrong Cork Company
- Associated Meat and Kenton Meat Packing
- Blitz Weinhard Brewery
- Brooks Scanlon Lumber Company
- Century Fund Incorporated
- Crown Columbia Pulp and Paper Company
- Crown Zellerbach Corporation
- Doernbecher Manufacturing Company
- Linde Air Products Company
- Metalclad Insulation Corporation of Oregon
- Mount Hood Railway and Power Company
- Multnomah County Farm Power Station
- Oregon Laundry and Dry Cleaners
- Peninsula Lumber Company
- Portland Power & Light
- Simpson Logging Company
- Troy Laundry Company
- Union Carbide Corporation
- Union Pacific Railroad
- Therm-O-Seal Insulation Company
- Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway Company
Medical Help in Portland
Portland’s OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, a comprehensive cancer care center, is backed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as one of the leading medical centers in the entire Northwest. The Knight Cancer Institute has over 200 experts and medical researchers who participate in four different research programs, including cancer prevention and control, hematologic malignancies, solid tumors, and cancer biology.
The Knight Cancer Institute also has partnerships with a number of national, regional, and worldwide institutions, including the following:
- M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center
- University of California at Los Angeles
- Salem Cancer Institute
- Tuality Healthcare
- Mercy Medical Center
- Bay Area Hospital
Knight Cancer Institute provides 300 clinical trials, advanced treatment options, and state-of-the-art technology. The institute also worked with economically-challenged communities and cancer control research activities within the Hispanic and Asian communities.
Knight Cancer Institute Cancer Center
3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road
Portland, Oregon 97239
Cancer Institute: (503) 494-1617
Health Care Services/OHSU Switchboard: (503) 494-8311
Legal Help in Portland
If you’ve been injured by asbestos, there is a good chance that you’ll qualify for considerable compensation. Get our free Financial Compensation Packet for information on the top mesothelioma and asbestos lawyers in your area. If you have questions or need additional assistance, contact us at 800-793-4540.