Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure in Maine

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If you have worked and lived in Maine for a significant amount of time, there is a chance that you were exposed to asbestos at home or in the workplace. Prolonged exposure to asbestos can lead to serious health problems including pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer. As a service to people who live in Maine, we have compiled the following information about asbestos and mesothelioma in Maine.

01. Statistics

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Statistics in Maine

Maine has numerous natural asbestos deposits, as well as a large number of industries, that potentially exposed their workers to the toxin.

  • From 1999-2015, 381 Maine residents died from mesothelioma
  • Maine suffers the highest mesothelioma mortality rate in the country with about 17 people per million annually (Source: CDC)
  • Maine has 22 known areas of naturally occurring asbestos, predominantly found in Franklin and Somerset counties (Source: USGS)
  • From 2000-2009, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Waldo and Washington counties in Maine were among the top 50 counties in the U.S. with the highest mesothelioma death rates (Source: CDC)
02. Asbestos in Workplaces

Asbestos Exposure in Maine Workplaces

In addition to the natural asbestos deposits in the state, Maine is home to many industries that used asbestos in the workplace.


Shipyards are notorious hubs for asbestos, as the mineral was used in almost every aspect of a ship from the boiler to the insulation. This practice put both shipyard workers and Navy veterans at a high risk of exposure. Being a coastal state, Maine was home to several shipyards, including New England Shipbuilding Corporation in South Portland and the South Dry Dock and Repair Company also located in South Portland.

Power Plants:

Power plants built before the 1980s all have asbestos issues. The equipment was largely created with various asbestos materials to protect the machinery from heat damage and help mitigate the risk of combustion. Maine Yankee Nuclear Power Plant is one of several power plants in Maine known to have contained asbestos.

Paper Mills:

Manufacturing paper remains an important industry in the United States, and supplies thousands of jobs throughout the country. Paper mills contain a lot of equipment and materials that contains asbestos, like drying machines and sandpaper backing. Oxford Paper Company in Portland and Georgia Pacific Paper Mill in Woodland are only a few of many paper mills in Maine that present the risk of asbestos.


Veterans make up about 30% of all mesothelioma diagnoses because of the heavy use of asbestos in every branch. Asbestos was used in buildings on base like in the Dow Air Force Base in Bangor, as well as throughout navy vessels and other equipment veterans used.

Iron Foundries:

Metal workers face extreme heat on the job, and so relied heavily on asbestos materials on the job to protect themselves. Various asbestos clothing, like gloves and jackets, would often be adorned as they worked with metal sheets, or they’d often work with asbestos directly when it’d be used as a spray on the metal products for added durability. Workers at companies like the Sanford Sheet Plant risked asbestos exposure.

03. Superfund Sites

Asbestos Superfund Sites and Shipyards in Maine

In addition to the natural asbestos deposits, Maine also had two shipyards and two sites included on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund List due to concerns of asbestos.

Bath Iron Works

Bath Iron Works is a large shipyard in Bath, Maine that was first established in 1884. The shipyard quickly flourished, building its first ship called the Cottage City in 1890. The shipyard built a few more vessels before a fire demolished much of the site in 1894. The owner, Tom Hyde, gathered all his employees to help rebuild. Once the site was back up and running, they focused on building a wide variety of vessels, from yachts to ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. Regardless of the type of vessel, asbestos was a go-to material in their construction because of its durability and heat resistance. Any aspect of these ships could contain asbestos, from boiler rooms to insulation, putting countless shipyard workers at risk while constructing or repairing these vessels. Over the years, the shipyard had many ups and downs, but continues to produce a variety of vessels today with a workforce in the thousands.

Brunswick Naval Air Station

The former naval station in Brunswick first opened in 1943 and was an important base throughout World War II and the Cold War. Throughout this time, the 3,100-acre base generated a variety of waste materials, from pesticides and metals to asbestos. These wastes contaminated the soil and groundwater around the area, as well. The site was included on the Superfund List in 1990 under special conditions to allow the base to continue functioning. Since its addition to the list, however, the U.S. Navy and EPA have been involved in many cleanup efforts over the years and invested millions of dollars toward investigating and cleaning the site. The station was later included on the Base Realignment and Closure list in 2005, which was a federal government initiative to increase the Department of Defense’s efficiency. The base officially closed in 2011, and the U.S. Navy continues to conduct cleanup at the site.

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard located in Kittery has been an important shipyard since colonial times, launching ships for the King and later building ships for the Revolution. Eventually, the shipyard began specializing in submarines and grew in importance throughout WWII. The shipyard spans several islands, connected by acres of fill, to keep up with the growing demand. Throughout its history, the shipyard had a lot of hazardous waste stored and disposed of on site, which had runoff into the Piscataqua River. It was added to the Superfund List in 1994 after the EPA realized the extent of contamination. Long-term cleaning efforts and investigations are still ongoing today. The shipyard still functions, largely for overhauling nuclear powered submarines.

04. Other Work Sites

Asbestos Risks at Other Maine Work Sites

Workplace asbestos exposure is also a concern if one looks beyond the major cities and towns in Maine. Select a town below to see the list of its job sites known to have exposed workers to asbestos. Asbestos exposure at any one of the job sites revealed could have placed a worker at risk to develop mesothelioma cancer and other asbestos-related diseases.

, Maine Jobsites Where Asbestos Exposure Occurred

  • A.H. Moulton
  • Abenaki Mill
  • Acme Engineering Company
  • Alloy Products Company
  • American Cyanamid Company
  • American Oil
  • Ametek, Inc.
  • Andrew J Newbury
  • Androscoggin Mill
  • Androscoggin Mills
  • Augusta State Hospital
  • Augusta State Mental Institution (ASMI)
  • Augustus R Loring
  • Axford Paper Company
  • B Charney Vladeck
  • Bancroft and Martin Inc.
  • Bangor Hydro-Electric Company
  • Bangor State Hospital
  • Bates College
  • Bates Manufacturing Company
  • Bath Iron Works Corporation
  • Belgian Tenacity
  • Biddeford & Saco Water Company
  • Biddeford Hardware & Plumbing Supply
  • Bliss Portland Company
  • Blue Rock Quarry
  • Boise Cascade Paper Mill
  • Boston & Maine Railroad
  • Bowater Inc
  • Bowdoin College
  • Broadman Hall
  • Brunswick Electric Light and Power Company
  • Brunswick Naval Air Station
  • Buerhaus Insulation Company
  • Burnham & Morrill Company
  • Burton M. Cross Building
  • C Y R O Industries
  • Capodanno
  • Carman Thompson Company
  • Central Maine General Hospital
  • Central Maine Medical Center
  • Central Maine Power Company
  • Central Maine Power Company
  • Central Maine Power Company
  • Central Maine Power Company
  • Central Maine Power Company
  • Central Maine Power Powerhouse
  • Champion Paper
  • Charles Dauray
  • Chemitron Corp
  • Chevron Oil Company
  • Chinet Company
  • City of Bangor Water Works
  • Colby College
  • Consolidated Electric Light Company
  • Conyngham
  • Cumberland County Power and Light Company
  • Cumberland County Power and Light Company
  • Cumberland Mills
  • Cutter Fire Brick Company, Inc.
  • Dow Air Force Base
  • Downeast Urethane Company
  • Eastern Fine Paper and Pulp
  • Eastern Manufacturing Company
  • Eastern Paper
  • Eastern Refractories Inc.
  • Econby Corporation
  • Elmer Montgomery
  • Fairchild Semiconductor Company
  • Fenway Motel
  • Fpl Energy Mason Llc
  • Georgia Pacific Corporation
  • Georgia Pacific Paper Mill
  • Georgia Pacific St. Croix
  • Great Northern Paper Company
  • Great Northern Paper Company
  • Great Northern Paper Mill
  • Hearst Corppejepscot Paper Div
  • Hill Manufacturing Company
  • Hollingsworth & Whitney Company
  • Hudson Pulp & Paper Company
  • Hyde Windlass Company
  • International Paper
  • International Paper Company
  • International Paper Company
  • Jay Paper Mill
  • Kathadin Pulp and Paper Company
  • Kennebec Pulp & Paper Company
  • Kennebec River Pulp 8 Paper Company Inc
  • Keyes Fibre Company
  • Kti Inc
  • Kuhr Technologies, Inc.
  • Lewiston and Auburn Street Railway Company
  • Lewiston Brunswich and Bath St. Railway Company
  • Lewiston Gas Light Company
  • Lfc Power Systems
  • Lincoln Pulp & Paper
  • Lockwood Company
  • Loring Air Force Base
  • Madison Electric
  • Madison Paper Corporation
  • Maine Central Railroad Company
  • Maine Central Railroad Company
  • Maine Energy Recovery Company
  • Maine Eye and Ear Infirmary (Holt Hall)
  • Maine Medical Center
  • Maine Seaboard Paper Company Div of Time Inc
  • Maine State House
  • Maine Yankee Atomic Power Station
  • Maine Yankee Nuclear Power Plant
  • Maple Street Siding
  • Marine Transport Corporation
  • Masonic Building
  • Mead Paper Group
  • Mechanical Services, Inc.
  • Mount Blue High School
  • Mt Mercy Academy
  • Nathan Clifford School Building
  • New England Insulation Company
  • New England Insulation Company
  • New England Shipbuilding Corporation
  • Northeast Coal & Dock Corp
  • Northeastern Paving Corp
  • Northern Chemical Industries Inc
  • Northern Paper
  • Northern Paper Company
  • Ohemetron Corp
  • Old Post Office and Courthouse
  • Otis Falls Pulp Company
  • Otis Mill
  • Oxford Paper Company
  • Oxford Paper Company
  • Pejepscot Paper Company
  • Pepperell Mill
  • Pharris
  • Pine Tree Insulation
  • Pineland Hospital & Training Center
  • Ponwal State School
  • Portland and Yarmouth Electric Railway Company
  • Portland Gas Light Company
  • Portland Iron & Steel Company
  • Portland Lighting and Power Company
  • Portland Railroad Company
  • Portland Stock
  • Portland Street Railway Company
  • Pownal State School
  • R.J. Peacock Canning Company
  • S.A. Maxfield Company
  • S.D. Warren Company
  • Saco-Lowell Shops
  • Saint Regis Mill
  • Sanford Mills
  • Sanford Sheet Plant
  • Sappi Fine Papers
  • Scott Paper Company
  • South Dry Dock and Repair Company
  • South Portland Shipyard
  • St. Croix Paper Company
  • St. Regis Paper Company
  • Standard Packaging Corp
  • Statler Tissue Company
  • Texas Towers 1
  • Texas Towers 2
  • Theatre Corporation of Portland
  • Thomaston State Prison
  • Todd Shipyard
  • Tree-free Fiber Company, LLC
  • Twitchell Champlin Building
  • Union Chemical Company
  • United States Naval Air Station
  • University of Maine
  • University of Southern Maine, Portland Campus
  • W.F. Wyman Power Station
  • W.L. Blake & Company
  • W.S. Libbey Company
  • West Point Pepperell Manufacturing Company
  • Willey & Calhoun
  • Winslow & Company
  • Wiscasset Steam Plant
  • Y.M.C.A.
  • Ymca
  • York Light and Heat Company

Find Mesothelioma Doctors, Lawyers and Asbestos Exposure Sites Near You

Find Mesothelioma Doctors, Lawyers and Asbestos Exposure Sites Near You
Sources [+]
  • 1

    Bowker, Michael. Fatal Deception: The Terrifying True Story of How Asbestos is Killing America. (New York: Touchstone, 2003.)

  • 2

    Cooper, Mechelle. “Asbestos Removal Spurs State Action.” Kennebec Journal (ME), 6 September 2007.

  • 3

    Evans, David and Greg Johnstone. “Asbestos Use Companies and Locations in Maine.” All About Malignant Mesothelioma, September 2005.

  • 4

    Geological Research, Analyses and Services Programs. Naturally Occurring Asbestos Locations in the Contiguous U.S. and Alaska. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 25 May 2007.