Oregon (OR) Asbestos Information:
Located in the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. – and therefore part of the Pacific Rim – Oregon has strong ties to the sea and maritime industries. It should therefore come as no surprise that most of the asbestos-related illnesses are found in those who were employed in these maritime industries – particularly the many ship construction and repair facilities in the state.
A Major Asbestos Hazard
The lives of those at sea have always been dangerous. However, there are few dangers more frightening to even veteran seamen than a shipboard fire. Such fires burn fast and hot, and the only escape is over the side – which is not necessarily a better option.
It was because of one such fire back in 1934 that shipbuilders began using copious amounts of asbestos nearly everywhere in sea-going vessels.
Unfortunately, the environment below decks is a confined one in which friable asbestos fibers can become highly concentrated. Medical researchers agree that an individual’s likelihood of contracting an asbestos-related disease such as asbestosis or mesothelioma is directly related to (A) the concentration of the exposure and (B) the length of time during which the individual was exposed.
The Krstev Study
Carried out under the auspices of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, the Krstev study focused on the mortality rates of 4,700 shipyard workers employed by the U.S. Coast Guard between 1950 and 1964, based on shipyard and lifetime work history evaluations, adjusted for factors such as age, gender and ethnic background.
The study found an increase in mortality from respiratory cancers and malignant mesothelioma, among other diseases. This represented a “small but significant excess mortality” from lung cancer and mesothelioma, according to the researchers’ conclusion.
Where There’s Fire
Asbestos is commonly used wherever there is danger from heat, fire or corrosive chemicals. There are several chemical plants located within Oregon, including Borden, Chevron, Chipman, Rhone-Poulenc and Stouffer. The type of asbestos used in chemical factories is likely to be amosite (“brown asbestos”) or crocidolite (“blue” asbestos), both of which are more resistant to chemical corrosion–and both of which are of the particularly deadly amphibole variety.
Amphibole asbestos differs from the more common chrysotile variety in that the fibers are rigid and spear-like. When inhaled, they essentially burrow through lung tissue, emerging on the outside. During this process, these fibers interact with cellular DNA on some level, causing them to become cancerous, although medical science is not quite certain exactly how this happens.
The Portland Shell Oil Refinery
Petroleum products are as volatile chemically as they are politically and economically. Fire danger is a constant hazard wherever petrochemicals are processed.
There is also a correspondingly high rate of the asbestos cancer mesothelioma among oil workers. A recent U.K. study of 43,000 industry employees showed that men who had actually worked in the refinery itself (not those who transported and delivered the product) suffered from substantially higher levels of mesothelioma.
Other Oregon Industries
Portland Gas and Coke, the now defunct Hercules Powder Company, and the Georgia-Pacific Resin Plant are other industries that made use of asbestos, for obvious reasons. These were primarily located in and around the Portland-Multnomah County area, but could also be found in Bend, Eugene, Hood River, Klamath Falls, McMinnville, Medford, Salem, St. Helens, and The Dalles.
The population of Oregon in the 2000 census stood at around 3.4 million, most of which is concentrated in the upper Willamette Valley. During the prior two decades, there were 862 deaths due to asbestos disease. These were evenly divided between mesothelioma and the more common asbestosis. Oregon is somewhat atypical in this regard, since in many states the deaths attributed to mesothelioma, an extremely severe and presently incurable type of cancer, outnumber those due to asbestosis, which can be stabilized if caught early enough.
Oregon (OR) Job Sites At Risk From Asbestos Exposure:
Over the course of the last century, hundreds of thousands of workers were exposed to asbestos while on the job – and for the most part, they were not warned. Below is a list of Job sites from the state of Oregon (OR) where workers were potentially and unnecessarily put at risk:
Astoria Voyage Repair: Astoria, OR
Kaiser Shipyards: Portland, OR
Portland General Electric: Willamette Falls, OR
Portland Ship Repair: Portland, OR
Swan Island: Portland, OR
Oregon (OR) Asbestos Cancer & Mesothelioma Treatment Centers
Today, between 25 and 30% of all Americans will get some form of cancer during their lifetimes. There are many reasons for this, including the modern lifestyle and the poisons that have been put into the environment – of which asbestos is a prime example.
The number of clinics and hospitals that specialize in oncology have increased in response to the growing number of patients.
Oregon (OR) Mesothelioma Lawyer & Legal Resources:
A search through the Oregon Federal District Court Cases for asbestos-related personal injury product liability lawsuits, with particular attention put on Oregon mesothelioma lawsuits, brings up two lawsuits from 2006 and 2007: Dillon v. 3M Company et al and Burkholder v. Asbestos Claims Management Corporation et al.
Oregon is ranked 22 in the U.S. for mesothelioma cases. With a mesothelioma mortality rate of 12.14 per million, Oregon has a crude mortality rank of 26 in the country.
Oregon has a number of known asbestos-exposed areas. Portland has a great number, including the Albina Shipyard, Chipman Chemical, the Commercial Iron & Steel Shipyard, the Floating Marine Ways Shipyard, the Gunderson/FMC Shipyard, the Kaiser Shipyard, Hercules Powder Co., Northwest Marine Ironworks, the Oregon Shipyard, Portland Gas & Coke Co., the Portland Ship Repair Yard, the Rhone-Poulenc Chemical Plant, the Shell Oil Refinery, the South Portland Shipyard, Stouffer Chemical Plant, the Swan Island Shipyard, and Willamette Iron & Steel Yard. In Astoria, the Astoria Voyage Repair Station, the Dyer Shipyard, and the Tongue Point Naval Shipyard are all known asbestos-exposed areas. In addition, the Georgia-Pacific Resin Plant in Albany, the Chevron Chemical Fertilizer Plant in Deer Island and the Borden Chemical Plant in Springfield are all known areas with asbestos exposure.
Individuals living or working near these areas should be checked regularly for signs of mesothelioma in order to file an Oregon mesothelioma lawsuit, or any form of asbestos suit, within the state’s shipyard workers. Because of these statutes of limitations, it is important that a person contact an Oregon mesothelioma lawyers as soon as possible after finding that they have mesothelioma. While many of these sites have been inspected and some have been cleaned up, anyone who worked or lived in these areas before asbestos contamination was reported can still be affected. Also, it is important to keep in mind that these are only known asbestos sites. Other areas in the state may also contain asbestos but may not yet have been reported as such.
A key asbestos case in Oregon was Nagl v. Dowman Products Inc. In the pro-plaintiff verdict, the Oregon jury found that plaintiff was entitled to more than $659,000. His Oregon mesothelioma lawyer argued that he was exposed to asbestos while working in Northern Oregon, installing flooring. The suit alleged that the defendant, Dowman Products Inc., used asbestos in its Dowman Fix-All patching compound and thereby exposed the plaintiff, who used the product in his job, to asbestos. In addition to that one product, a number of the products that the plaintiff used in his work contained asbestos, including joint compounds, floor leveling compounds, vinyl asbestos floor tile, and sheet flooring products. The plaintiff died of malignant mesothelioma five months after the end of the trial.
In a case from 1999, Robert Bush v. Kaiser Gypsum, a Portland worker developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and lung disease. He was exposed to building materials that contained asbestos. The products were manufactured by Kaiser Gypsum, which was accused of not taking adequate care in preventing illness and exposure.
Those interested in contacting an Oregon mesothelioma lawyer to file a lawsuit should know that the statute of limitations for personal injury law in Oregon is two years with a discovery rule that states that this amount of time begins when the problem (in this case the mesothelioma) either was discovered or should have been discovered. Wrongful death cases have a three-year statute of limitations and the standard discovery rule. There is no specific statute about asbestos in Oregon.