Although the state of Washington is headquarters to some of the largest corporations in the nation, such as Microsoft and Starbucks, it’s also known as for its large presence of job sites with occupations associated with asbestos. These job sites have been present for decades in Washington, and in the past, relied on heavy usage of asbestos, which has linked with an array of illnesses, including malignant mesothelioma and asbestosis.
If you or a loved have mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for a large amount of compensation. Currently, there is over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, set up for those who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness. Fill out our form to get a free Financial Compensation Packet. You’ll learn about the top mesothelioma lawyers in your area, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file a claim for the asbestos trust funds, and more.
We offer help to asbestos victims in all cities and towns in Washington, including:
Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bellevue, Kent, Everett, Renton, Yakima, Federal Way, Spokane Valley, Kirkland, Bellingham, Kennewick, Auburn, Pasco, Marysville, Lakewood, Redmond, South Hill, Shoreline, Richland, Sammamish, Burien, Olympia, Lacey, Edmonds, Bremerton, Puyallup, Parkland, Longview, Lynnwood, Bothell, Issaquah, Wenatchee, Mount Vernon, University Place, Walla Walla, Pullman, Des Moines, Lake Stevens, SeaTac, Spanaway, Graham, Maple Valley, Mercer Island, Cottage Lake, Bainbridge Island, Orchards, Oak Harbor, Silver Firs, Eastmont, Kenmore, Salmon Creek, Moses Lake, Camas, Mukilteo, Mountlake Terrac,e Union Hill-Novelty Hill, Hazel Dell, Silverdale, Tukwila, Fairwood Cdp, Five Corners, Port Angeles, Frederickson, Covington, Mill Creek, Arlington, Tumwater, Ellensburg, Battle Ground, Bonney Lake, Monroe, Bothell West, North Lynnwood, Centralia, Aberdeen, Mill Creek East, Bryn Mawr-Skyway, Sunnyside, Anacortes, Martha Lake, Camano, White Center, Washougal, Elk Plain, Lakeland North, Fort Lewis, East Wenatchee, Lakeland South, Lake Forest Park, West Richland, Port Orchard, Lynden, Artondale, East Renton Highlands, Ferndale, Lake Tapps, Klahanie, and more.
Job Sites and Occupations Associated with Asbestos in Washington
Washington lies on the Pacific coast where it is home to several ports and shipyards. In fact, several of the state’s major cities, including Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia, rely on ports and shipyards for a good portion of their business. The U.S. Navy has several facilities in the state as well, including Bremerton’s Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and the adjacent Naval Base Kitsap. The state also has a large lumber and paper manufacturing industry, as well as aircraft factories, metal-making plants, oil refineries, and power generation plants.
Though many of these facilities drive much of Washington’s economy, those that have been around since the 19th and 20th Centuries are job sites which were heavy users of asbestos. For example, The Boeing Company, one of the country’s largest aeronautical manufacturers, was founded in Seattle in 1916 and has several aircraft factories in Washington. Boeing used asbestos in its manufacturing plants for more than 50 years, thus exposing many of its employees to the toxic silicates.
Other asbestos-heavy job sites include paper mills owned by the former Crown Zellerbach manufacturing company (now Georgia-Pacific), the former Todd Dry Dock & Construction Company shipyards in Tacoma, and the Hanford Nuclear Site, which began operating in 1943. Asbestos was often mixed into cement to make buildings more fire-resistant. As a result, workers in cement plants throughout the state came into contact with asbestos regularly.
Other Washington job sites where asbestos exposure is known to have occurred include:
- Fairchild Air Force Base (Spokane)
- Crown Zellerbach Paper Mill (Camas)
- Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF) at Hanford Nuclear Site (Hanford/White Bluffs)
- Columbia Aluminum Products (Vancouver)
- Dow Chemical Co./Rohm & Haas Chemicals LLC (Elma)
- Alcoa/Intalco Works Aluminum Plant (Ferndale)
- Alcoa-Northwest Alloys – Longview Aluminum Plant (Longview)
- Alcoa-Wenatchee Aluminum Plant (Malaga)
- Lockheed Shipbuilding & Construction Company (Harbor Island)
Occupations that are known to have exposed workers in Washington to asbestos include:
- Shipyard workers
- Insulation installers
- Aviation mechanics
- Automobile mechanics
- Brake specialists
- Construction workers
- Paper mill workers
- Navy and Merchant Marine seamen
- Electronics operators or maintenance specialists
- Boiler workers
- Petroleum industry workers
- Cement plant workers
- Aluminum plant workers
- Factory workers
- Nuclear plant workers
- Linotype operators
Asbestos Stats and Facts in Washington
- According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Washington ranked 13th in the country for mesothelioma deaths between 1999-2005, with an age adjusted rate. During the same time period, it ranked 11th in total deaths with over 500 mesothelioma fatalities. In 2008, it ranked 10th in the nation.
- Franklin, Kitsap, and Mason counties have the highest mesothelioma rates in the state.
- Franklin and Pierces counties are among the top 20 counties in the nation for the highest mesothelioma rates.
- By 2008, the total mesothelioma deaths in Washington reached 778, and the asbestosis death rate reached 254, making a total of 1,032 asbestos-related deaths.
- Washington State’s population had an increase of over 50% between 1980-2000, with the majority residing in the Puget Sound area. Most victims of asbestos-related diseases in the last 25 years lived in the same area.
- In 2010, Washington State added more strict regulations to asbestos use when it banned asbestos use in vehicles brakes. The phaseout of asbestos materials in brakes will start in 2014.
- An 84-year old Vashon, Washington resident, Roger Hammett, won an asbestos-related lawsuit in 2010 of $1.4 million. Hammett was a former employee of a north end ferry when he was exposed to asbestos. He later developed terminal cancer.
Asbestos Laws in Washington
Laws and regulations for asbestos abatement and removal in the state of Washington is administered by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. The state has written several regulations regarding asbestos removal as well as training those that must inspect asbestos sites, and preparing individuals for asbestos removal.
- Before a contractor is allowed to build, the site must be inspected in order to asses if asbestos material has the potential to disturb and cause a hazard. As a result, the contractor must have a written asbestos report from the owner, or the owner’s agent, prior to construction.
- Inspections must be done by state-certified asbestos inspectors who received their licensing in the state of Washington.
- Any person involved in the removal of asbestos material must contact the state, in writing, at least 10 days prior to the removal of the materials.
- The state does exempt homeowners from from being certified. If asbestos material is being removed from a personal residence, the owner must use certified contractors in the removal process. Full disclosure is required and must be presented to the contractors.
For further information and additional resources regarding asbestos removal, contact the Washington state L&I at 1-800-423-7233
Treatment Centers in Washington
When dealing with mesothelioma and other types of asbestos-related illnesses, it’s important to make sure you get the best possible treatment available, from physicians and care centers that specialize in these forms of cancer. There are are currently two treatment centers in Washington that are backed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI):
Swedish Medical Center Cancer Institute: Located in Seattle, the Swedish Medical Center Cancer Institute (SMCCI) is a non-profit care center with special focus on mesothelioma. The center’s team of mesothelioma specialists and physicians, led by Dr. Eric Vallieres, is considered among the best in region. The treatment team focuses on individualized care and trimodal treatment. The trimodality approach emphasizes a combination of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. As a result, many patients with mesothelioma have gone on to live several years after treatment.
University of Washington Medical Center: Similar to SMCCI, the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) focuses on mesothelioma and individualized treatment according to each patient’s unique situation. In a partnership with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, UWMC provides patients with comprehensive options. It was featured in the 2011 edition of U.S. News and World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals.”
Washington Statute of Limitations on Mesothelioma and Asbestos Lawsuits
The statute of limitations for asbestos cases in Washington falls under Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 4.16.005 et seq., which mandates that the lawsuit must be filed within three years from the date that the asbestos-related illness was diagnosed or within three years from the time period in which it should have been, within reason, discovered. Asbestos wrongful death cases must be filed within three years from the date of the victim’s death.
Getting Legal Help in Washington
Don’t forget to fill out our form to get our free Financial Compensation Packet, filled with information on the leading asbestos and mesothelioma attorneys in your area. Keep in mind that if you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for considerable compensation. For additional or if you have questions, contact us at 800-793-4540.