Asbestos and Workplace-Related Cancer Risks in Alaska

The long latency period (i.e., the period of time between exposure and the appearance of symptoms) of mesothelioma still threatens residents who were once exposed to asbestos. When residents come into contact with the toxic fiber, they may inhale or ingest airborne fibers, causing tumors to develop over time.

Different companies used the toxin in building materials like pipes, insulation, floor tiles, and textured paints for its extra strength and fire-resistant capabilities. Many structures built before 1970 still contain contamination. Cities in Alaska where residents risk possible asbestos exposure include:

  • Anchorage
  • Fairbanks
  • Juneau
  • Kalakaket
  • Kanakanak
  • Nome
  • Port Heiden
  • Seward

Occupational Exposure

Job sites throughout Alaska were responsible for exposing employees to hazardous materials, including insulation around boilers, air ducts, ceiling tiles, water tanks, and sprayed ceilings or beams. Exposure often happened in the following Alaskan career fields:

  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Industrial plants
  • Insulation
  • Shipbuilding
  • Mining
  • Milling
  • Oil refining
  • Power generation

Several companies in the state are known to have exposed workers to the toxin, including:

  • Alaska Gold Company
  • Alaskan Pipeline at Valdez
  • Alaska Pulp Corporation
  • Anchorage Hospital
  • Arctic Surplus Salvage Yard
  • Bullen Point Radar Installation
  • Fish Creek Quarry
  • Galena Airport
  • Georgia Pacific Paper Mill
  • Golden Valley Electric Association
  • Sitka Paper Mill

Alaska’s Natural Mineral Deposits

Alaska’s abundance of natural mineral deposits (including asbestos) put miners and surrounding populations at risk of developing an asbestos-related illness. Deposits are located along the state’s panhandle, and Central, West, North, and Southeast Alaska.

The state’s high demand for gravel has been a major influence in mining and processing. Workers often experience poor working conditions with minimal protection. Miners in the state could have been experienced hazardous exposure at several work sites, including:

  • California Creek Mine
  • Lemon Creek Quarry
  • Treadwell Quarry

Military Bases with Asbestos

Prior to asbestos regulation in the 1970s, all five military branches relied heavily on contaminated products. Today, veterans risk developing mesothelioma from prior proximity to military property like aircraft, engine rooms, sleeping barracks, and mess halls. At-risk jobs include:

  • Aircraft Handler
  • Aircraft Mechanic
  • Artilleryman
  • Boatswain’s Mate
  • Damage Controlman
  • Electrical Systems Specialist
  • Environmental Systems Specialist
  • Fire Control Technician
  • Gunner’s Mate
  • Hull Maintenance Technician
  • Infantryman
  • Machinery Repairman
  • Machinist’s Mate
  • Marine Inspectors
  • Marines on Navy Ships
  • Mechanic
  • Metalsmith
  • Pipefitter
  • Radioman
  • Vehicle Mechanic
  • Water Tender
  • Welder

Several military bases throughout Alaska disposed of contaminated waste at various sites on each property, including:

  • Air Station Kodiak
  • Campion Air Force Base
  • Clear Air Force Bases
  • Eielson Air Force Base
  • Elmendorf Air Force Base
  • Fort Greeley
  • Fort Rubardosn
  • Fort Wainwright
  • For Yukon Air Force Station
  • Indian Mountain Air Force Station
  • Murphy Dome Air Force Station
  • Tatalina Air Force Station
  • Tin City Air Force Station

The Naval Air Station Kodiak was founded in 1941 by Commander John Perry. The location served as the principal advance Naval base in Alaska and most of the North Pacific during World War II. The shipyard built and stored ships, aircraft, and submarines, which all used significant amounts of asbestos throughout multiple components.

Think you’ve worked somewhere with high asbestos risk? Request a case evaluation to assess your chances for exposure.
Evaluate My Case

Contamination at Landfills

Some landfills in The Land of the Midnight Sun are permitted to accept the carcinogen. Working at or visiting these landfills can lead to airborne exposure to carcinogens. Alaska landfills that accept the toxin include:

Name Location
Adak Landfill Adak Island, AK
Amchitka ROTHR Facility Amchitka Island, AK
Anchorage/Kinkaid Landfill Anchorage, AK
Anchorage Regional Landfill Anchorage, AK
Bear Creek RRS Northern Alaska, AK
Bethel White Alice Landfill Bethel, AK
Channel Sanitation Juneau, AK
Cordova Balefill Cordova, AK
Fairbanks Landfill Fairbanks, AK
Gold King Creek Landfill Northern Alaska, AK
Granite Mountain Landfill Northern Alaska, AK
Haines Sanitation Site Haines, AK
Kenai Landfill Kenai, AK
Ketchikan Landfill Ketchikan, AK
King Salmon Landfill King Salmon, AK
Kodiak Chiniak Site Kodiak Island, AK
Kodiak Landfill Kodiak Island, AK
Naknek Landfill Naknek, AK
Nenana Landfill Nenana, AK
Nikolski Landfill Nikolski, AK
Petersburg Landfill Petersburg, AK
Shemya Island Landfill Shemya Island, AK
Sitka Landfill Sitka, AK
Sitkinak Landfill Sitkinak, AK
Soldotna Landfill Soldotna, AK
Sparrevohn Landfill Sparrevohn, AK
Wasilla-Palmer Landfill Wasilla, AK

Legal Help for Residents

If you are an Alaskan with mesothelioma as a result of an individual or organization’s negligence, you can file a lawsuit against one or more companies liable for your exposure. Residents have two years to file a claim after a diagnosis. Surviving family members, including children, spouses, parents, and siblings, can file a wrongful death claim within two years after their loved one passed away from a related illness.

An experienced asbestos lawyer can help you identify the company or companies responsible, help you receive as much compensation as possible, and ensure the appropriate suits are filed. To receive help from qualified, experienced lawyers, fill out a free case evaluation form.

Mesothelioma Support Team

Mesothelioma Hub is dedicated to helping you find information, support, and advice. Reach out any time!