Located in Portland, Oregon, on the Willamette River, the Portland Ship Repair Yard (PSY) is regarded as one of the most extensive and complete marine repair and construction faciltieis on the West Coast. The shipyard comprises 60 acres of land, which is connected to the Pacific Ocean via the Columbia-Willamette shipping channel. Once an independent shipyard, Portland Ship Repair Yard is now wholly owned and operated by Cascade General. Portland Ship Repair Yard is home to the largest dry dock facility in the United States.
The Portland Ship Repair Yard has access to the wide range of equipment owned by Cascade General, including large industrial marine cranes, valve shops, electrical and electronic repair facilities, state-of-the-art machine shops, pipe and sheet metal shops, a structural fabrication shop, and a ballast water treatment plant in a salt-free, sheltered location, making it able to handle any repair or reconstruction project on vessels of nearly any size.
Offering a highly experienced and dedicated crew of craftsmen, Portland Ship Repair Yard boasts that it has serviced every type of vessel sailing the seas.
Portland Ship Repair Yard has been in operation for many decades, employing hundreds of workers since first opening its doors. And many of those workers employed prior to the mid 1970s are today suffering from the effects of asbestos exposure.
Since its discovery in the 1800s, asbestos quickly rose to become one of the most widely mined materials in history. Occurring plentifully, the silica-based mineral offered high resistance to heat and corrosion, two critical elements in designing and manufacturing products for use in a marine environment, which is often subject to varying degrees of temperature and moisture. The fibers are also strong and flexible, lending themselves to many different applications. From gaskets to electrical insulation to heavy marine coatings, asbestos was widely used in every area of marine repair and construction.
But the fibers of asbestos are also extremely lightweight, drifting easily on even the slightest currents of air when disturbed during the repair and construction processes. This means the fibers are also very easily inhaled. Once in the lungs, the fibers lodge permanently, causing damage which can lead to potentially deadly complications like asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
The symptoms of malignant mesothelioma can take decades to become apparent. If you worked for the Portland Ship Repair Yard, make an appointment with your health care specialist to discuss your possible risks as mesothelioma navy cases are most common.