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Oregon ranks high among states for asbestos-related deaths from mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer because of some of its major industries, like shipbuilding, timber, and pulp and paper processing. Oregon mesothelioma lawyers help victims of exposure make tough legal and financial decisions and seek justice against those responsible.Get Financial Help Now
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Asbestos in Oregon
All states have had problems with asbestos, and Oregon is no exception. Most states are still dealing with the consequences of widespread past asbestos use.
Although there are now federal, state, and local regulations on how asbestos is used, it still poses a significant threat to residents and workers.
Buildings were constructed with asbestos insulation and other materials that can contaminate the air and harm people if disturbed by renovation or demolition.
Oregon also has specific industries that have caused people to be exposed and still put people at risk. These include the timber industry with its factories for processing pulp and paper.
Shipbuilding has also been a primary industry along the Pacific coast and one that relied heavily on asbestos. Finally, mining and natural asbestos deposits have exposed workers in the past and continue to put Oregonians at risk of harm.
Asbestos Deposits and Mining
Oregon is home to several natural deposits of asbestos, mainly in the southwest and the northeast. Several of these deposits were active asbestos mines, producing the material and exposing workers to the harmful fibers.
Any residents nearby were also exposed as the mining stirred up fibers and contaminated the air. While asbestos mining has ceased, naturally occurring asbestos still poses a risk. Any work or construction project that disturbs the asbestos can lead to exposure in nearby residents and workers.
The Lumber and Paper Industry
Lumber has long been a major industry in this heavily forested state. Workers did not just cut down trees, though. They processed the lumber to make wood pulp and paper. Lumber, pulp, and paper mills all used asbestos in boilers, in insulation, and in the machinery and equipment workers used, putting those employees at risk of exposure.
The Chiloquin Lumber and Box Company in Klamath County operated for decades until 1988. Asbestos cleanup at the site didn’t start until 2005. In the years in between, nearby residents risked exposure.
Shipbuilding and Asbestos
Oregon has an important maritime industry that includes shipbuilding. Asbestos was used heavily in ship construction, particularly during World War II. It was cheap and common, added lightweight strength to other materials, and was fireproof, making it attractive to shipwrights.
Anyone who worked in or around shipyards in Oregon during peak asbestos use likely came into contact with it. Those at the most significant risk of getting sick were workers who built or repaired ships and handled asbestos materials, such as spray-on asbestos insulation used in many ships.
The high use of asbestos on vessels helps explain why U.S. Navy veterans have some of the highest rates of mesothelioma.
North Ridge Estates Superfund Site
Oregon is home to several Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund sites containing asbestos. One is the North Ridge Estates, a residential community in Klamath Falls, built on the former site of a military barracks constructed with asbestos insulation, roofing, tiles, and other materials.
When the asbestos-laden barracks were demolished, the asbestos materials were simply covered with soil instead of being encapsulated or removed from the site. The modern subdivision was built atop a contaminated stew of dirt and asbestos.
The EPA listed North Ridge Estates as a top priority for cleanup. Several feet of soil need to be removed from the site, and cleanup is not yet complete. In the meantime, families there have been put at risk of exposure and illness.
Other Sites in Oregon with Asbestos
In addition to timber and paper, shipbuilding, construction, and mining, Oregon was home to many other industries and buildings that used asbestos and exposed workers and residents.
These include military installations, metalworking plants, power plants, and others. A few of these are:
- Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Clatskanie
- Southern Pacific Railroad, Klamath Falls
- Oregon Pulp and Paper Company, Salem
- Eugene Water and Electric Board Plant, Eugene
- Weyerhaeuser Lumber, Eugene
- Henry J. Kaiser Shipyard, Swan Island
- Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation, Portland
- Martin-Marietta Aluminum Plant, The Dalles
- Northwestern Electric Company, Portland
- Publishers Paper, Portland and Oregon City
- Roseburg Lumber Company, Dillard
- Albina Shipyard, Portland
- Burns Air Force Radar Station, Burns
- Oregon Steel Mills, Portland
Asbestos Laws in Oregon
Laws regarding asbestos use and handling are administered through Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality. The department oversees federal laws and administers state-level regulations.
Anyone who will be working with asbestos must be certified by the state. Asbestos abatement projects must be cleared through the department, and disposal must be done carefully and at a licensed facility.
Mesothelioma Care in Oregon
If you have been exposed to asbestos in Oregon, whether on the job or some other way, you should receive regular screenings. The sooner you get a diagnosis for mesothelioma, the better because the cancer is easier to treat in the early stages. If you are diagnosed, look for the best cancer care you can find.
In Oregon, the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland is a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center. This distinction means you can expect expert care with leading treatments from experienced staff working on the latest cancer research.
Statute of Limitations
The state of Oregon has set limits on when you can file a lawsuit for asbestos-related illnesses or the death of a loved one from asbestos exposure. The statute of limitations is three years from the diagnosis of a disease and three years from the time of death.
The time limit is supposed to discourage frivolous lawsuits, but it also means that genuine victims of asbestos exposure may miss out on much-needed compensation. Because of these limits, you must act quickly to take legal action.
Find an Oregon Mesothelioma Lawyer
The best way to make sure you do not miss out because of the statute of limitations or other mistakes is to rely on the help of an Oregon mesothelioma lawyer.
When you search for one of these professionals or a legal team devoted to helping mesothelioma victims, you get the best chance of filing a lawsuit that will be successful. Many people have won justice and compensation, but others have failed. You need the best on your side, so look for a lawyer with the knowledge and experience to get asbestos victims settlements.Get Your FREE Mesothelioma Packet
Page Written by Rod De Llano, Esquire
Rod De Llano was born and raised in Laredo, Texas. He graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in Economics, and earned a law degree from the University of Texas. After working for an international law firm for several years, Rod formed a law firm dedicated to representing persons injured by exposure to asbestos products. For over 20 years, Rod has fought for persons diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. His clients have recovered over $1 billion over the years.