It would be difficult to name a sector of California’s economy that didn’t rely on asbestos at one point in our not-so-distant history. Asbestos site exposure in California has been a problem for generations—and we are still suffering the effects today.
From horror stories of asbestos “snowflakes” falling on film sets, WW II-era shipbuilders handling asbestos materials with their bare hands, asbestos mining companies releasing dust into the air and groundwater, and military service members, mechanics, and construction crews inhaling asbestos fibers without protective masks, it’s easy to see why California has the highest rate of mesothelioma deaths in the nation.
If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma in California, there are laws in place to help you and your family. Let an experienced and compassionate asbestos advocate from Frost Law Firm, PC help you uphold your rights.
California Industries With the Highest Rates of Asbestos Exposure
California, the U.S. state with the largest population, was built upon a number of industries that relied on the strength, heat-resistance, and affordability of naturally occurring asbestos fibers.
And in a state like California—with both a major shipping industry and one of the highest concentrations of asbestos mining in the country—asbestos wasn’t hard to come by.
At the height of asbestos usage in the 1970s, there were few corners of society that weren’t touched by this carcinogen. Some of the California industries with the highest rates of asbestos exposure include:
- Asbestos mining
- Automotive repair
- Airplane manufacturing and repair
- Maritime labor
- Submarine building
- Oil refining
- Auto manufacturing
- Building maintenance
- Film set construction
- Tile installation
- Steel manufacturing
- Military service
California Superfund Asbestos Sites
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists over 1,000 sites in the United States as Superfund Sites. These are contaminated areas in which hazardous materials were improperly managed, impacting the nearby natural and human environment. The EPA has identified 114 Superfund sites in California, including these sites which were linked to potential asbestos contamination:
- Atlas Asbestos Mine, Fresno County
- Coalinga Asbestos Mine, Coalinga
- Casmalia Resources Hazardous Waste Landfill, Casmalia
- Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Seal Beach
- Southern California Edison, Rosemead and other parts of Southern California
- Stringfellow Acid Pits, Jurupa Valley north of Glen Avon
- Watkins-Johnson Company, Palo Alto
- Halaco Engineering Co., Oxnard
- Riverbank Army Ammunition Plant, Stanislaus County
- Rockwell International Corporation, Simi Valley
- Fresno Municipal Sanitary Landfill, Fresno
- Lockheed Corporation, San Fernando Valley
- Raytheon Company, Mountain View
Santa Clara County Superfund Sites
There are 23 EPA Superfund sites in Santa Clara County alone. This gives Santa Clara the unfortunate distinction of housing more Superfund sites than any other county in the United States.
These sites have been the cause of toxic materials, including asbestos, seeping into groundwater and being released into the air. Among the Santa Clara Superfund sites are:
- Fairchild Semiconductor
- Intel Corporation
- CTS Printex Inc.
- Moffett Federal Airfield
- Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD)
- Synertek, Inc.
- Intersil Inc./Siemens Components
- Lorentz Barrel & Drum Co.
- Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
Most notably, the infamous South Bay Asbestos Area is also a Santa Clara County Superfund site.
California’s South Bay Asbestos Area
The South Bay Asbestos Area Superfund site covers 550 acres of the Alviso district in north San Jose, abutting the southern San Francisco Bay shore. At one time, there were three large landfills on the site that were the dumping grounds of asbestos materials from a nearby asbestos-cement pipe manufacturing plant. Regular dumping continued at the site between the years 1953 and 1982.
In 1986, the EPA added this California Superfund site to the National Priorities List (NPL), a “list of sites of national priority among the known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants.”
An intensive cleanup project began soon after its identification as a toxic asbestos contamination site. Today, long-term maintenance and regular inspections of the existing landfill continue to be an ongoing project.
Counties With the Highest Density of Naturally Occurring Asbestos
The last U.S. asbestos mine ceased operations in 2002. That mine was operating here in California, in the Coalinga asbestos district that spans Fresno and San Benito counties near San Joaquin Valley.
Two of California’s Superfund sites are asbestos mines that once operated in this district—the 435-acre Atlas Asbestos Mine and the 120-acre Coalinga Asbestos Mine.
The Environmental Protection Agency has acknowledged naturally occurring asbestos in 42 of California’s 58 counties, while the Placer County Air Pollution Control District government office in Auburn, CA has stated that at least 44 counties contain asbestos. This puts our state on par with only a very few others in terms of natural asbestos abundance.
The counties with the highest concentration of naturally occurring asbestos and asbestos mining activity include:
- Humboldt County
- Monterey County
- El Dorado County
- Trinity County
- Siskiyou County
- Shasta County
- San Bernardino County
- Fresno County
- San Benito County
- Nevada County
- Lake County
- Placer County
- Riverside County
- Alameda County
California Cities With High Numbers of Mesothelioma Cases
It’s expected that the highest mesothelioma rates are found in cities with the largest populations and most industrial activity.
Our mesothelioma litigation team at Frost Law Firm, PC is equipped to represent victims of asbestos exposure in:
- Los Angeles
- San Jose
- San Francisco
- San Diego
- Long Beach
- Chula Vista
- Santa Clara
- Santa Ana
- San Bernardino
- And other California cities
California Military Bases Linked to Asbestos Exposure
It is well known that the U.S. military’s widespread use of asbestos in construction, mechanical, maintenance, aircraft, equipment, servicemember barracks, and shipbuilding projects put countless service members at risk of mesothelioma between the 1930s and 1980s.
In California, asbestos was frequently used and often still exists at many military bases in the state. If you developed mesothelioma after living or working at one or more of these locations, you may be entitled to recover compensation.
- George Air Force Base
- Castle Air Force Base
- March Air Reserve Base
- Travis Air Force Base
- Marine Corps Air Station El Toro
- Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
- Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow
- Edwards Air Force Base
- McClellan Air Force Base
- Onizuka Air Force Station
- Naval Air Station Alameda
- Norton Air Force Base
- Oxnard Air Force Base
- Mather Air Force Base
- Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake
- Vandenberg Air Force Base (now Vandenberg Space Force Base)
- Fort Ord
- Hamilton Field Air Force Base
- Beale Air Force Base
- Sacramento Army Depot
- Concord Naval Weapons Station
- Parks Reserve Forces Training Area (Camp Parks)
California Naval Stations and Shipyards Linked to Asbestos Exposure
California’s extensive coastline and active maritime and military history brought thousands of tons of asbestos to shipyards and naval stations along our shores. Below are just a few of the sites believed to have heavily used asbestos materials, particularly during wartime-era construction.
- Alameda Works Shipyard
- Hunters Point Naval Shipyard
- Mare Island Naval Shipyard
- Naval Air Station North Island
- Naval Base San Diego
- United Engineering Co. Shipyards
- Moore Dry Dock Company, Oakland
- Long Beach Naval Shipyard, Terminal Island
- Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach
- California Shipbuilding Corporation, Terminal Island
- Hanlon Dry Dock and Shipbuilding
- Marinship Corporation, Sausalito
- Richmond Shipyards
- Todd Pacific Shipyards, Los Angeles
Products and Building Materials Known To Contain Asbestos
If you live or work in an older building, work with an antique automobile, or handle other products manufactured during or before the 1970s, know that there is a strong possibility you will encounter an asbestos-containing product or material. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) states that as many as 3,000 different types of commonly used commercial products have contained or do contain asbestos.
Products and building materials that may contain asbestos include:
- Brake pads
- Boiler parts
- Transmission and clutch parts
- Other auto parts
- Home insulation
- Electrical wire conduits
- Vinyl flooring
- Ceiling and floor tiles
- Roofing shingles
- Heat-resistant fabrics
- Airplane parts
- Paper products
- Vermiculite insulation
- Textured walls and ceilings
- Paint products
- Oil and coal furnaces
- Art supplies
- Home appliances
- Chalk and chalkboards
- Talcum powder
- Cosmetics and personal hygiene products
- Fire protection equipment
- And more
Find a Lawyer Who Understands What It’s Like To Live With Mesothelioma
No matter which asbestos exposure site in California caused you or a loved one to develop mesothelioma, we can help.
Frost Law Firm, PC is a national mesothelioma law firm based in California. We represent clients whose lives have been affected by asbestos-related illnesses. Our expertise and experience make us successful in complex mesothelioma cases—and our compassion drives us to be the best legal advocates we can be for those who need us most.
Contact us today to schedule a 100% free consultation with a real attorney who understands what you’re going through.