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Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure in North Dakota

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If you live in the state of North Dakota and have worked there for a significant amount of time, there is a chance that you were exposed to asbestos in the workplace. Prolonged exposure to asbestos can lead to serious health problems including mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer and other non-malignant lung impairments. To assist people who live in North Dakota, we have provided statistics about asbestos and mesothelioma in the state. 

01. Statistics

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Statistics in North Dakota

Even though North Dakota is one of the least populous states in the U.S., there are still numerous sites where asbestos exposure occurred.

  • From 1999-2015, approximately 129 North Dakota residents died from mesothelioma
  • The mesothelioma death in North Dakota is above the national average at 11.3 people per million (Source: CDC)
  • There are no known asbestos deposits that occur naturally in North Dakota (Source: USGS)
  • Mesothelioma mortality rates are somewhat higher in the western-central counties of Mercer, Mclean, Oliver, Morton and Dunn than elsewhere in North Dakota (Source: Journal of the American Medical Association)
02. Asbestos in Workplaces

Asbestos Use in North Dakota Work Environments

North Dakota has a lot of land area, and the state’s industry reflects both its remoteness and the needs and interests of its residents.

Power Plants:

Three North Dakota power plants that have been identified as having asbestos issues include Coyote Station, Stanton Powerhouse, and United Power. Two other sites in Grand Forks – Northern States Power Company and Grand Forks Gas and Electric Company – also exposed a large number of workers to asbestos during the course of its operation. Asbestos was frequently used by power companies throughout the country to insulate against electricity and heat in boilers, turbines, generators, and gaskets during the power-generating process.


Vermiculite mined from Libby, Montana, was processed in several North Dakota cities, including Center, Minot, and Stanton. While vermiculite itself is a relatively harmless form of clay, it is often contaminated with tremolite, a deadly form of amphibole asbestos. According to some estimates, more than 300 shipments containing a total of 26,000 tons of asbestos-contaminated vermiculite passed through these cities, eventually making their way into industrial supplies and consumer products.

Missile Silos:

During the height of the Cold War, missile silos were constructed throughout a number of different states, including North Dakota, to perpetuate the concept of mutually assured destruction, should an intercontinental war break out with enemies overseas. These mid-century military installations contained plenty of asbestos, as did traditional military bases across the country (such as the Grand Forks Air Force Base), exposing both the construction workers who built them and the veterans and civilians who may have been stationed in the silos.

Oil Refineries:

North Dakota had at least one infamous oil refinery operated by BP Amoco in Mandan. Because of the potential for fire and explosion, oil refineries have historically contained much asbestos to prevent any deadly catastrophes. Instead, many of the workers at these refineries were exposed to a slower killer – mesothelioma – brought on by breathing in the carcinogenic fibers meant to protect them. Other oil companies that operated in North Dakota include American Oil Refinery and Standard Oil.

03. Superfund Sites

Asbestos Superfund Sites in North Dakota

While North Dakota has only had two locations added to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund list, at least one of those has likely contained asbestos.

Minot Landfill

The EPA first assessed this site, which operated for a decade between 1961 and 1971, accepting various forms of waste products from the City of Minot, ND, and surrounding farms, towns, industrial facilities, and military bases. Although the primary contaminants of concern included things like oil, battery casings, and lime sludge, the EPA’s five-year report from 2011 acknowledges that the exact makeup of the landfill is not entirely known. Given the era during which the landfill operated, and the wide variety of materials it accepted during that time, the likelihood that it has at least some asbestos-containing materials among its refuse is relatively high.

04. Other Work Sites

Asbestos Exposure at Smaller North Dakota Sites

Beyond the major cities and towns in North Dakota, asbestos exposure has also occurred at a number of other job sites. Select a town to see the list of its work sites where asbestos exposure occurred. Asbestos exposure at any one of the sites revealed could put a worker at risk to develop pleural mesothelioma.

North Dakota Directory of Asbestos Work Sites

Select a city to see a list of work sites where asbestos exposure occurred.

, North Dakota Jobsites Where Asbestos Exposure Occurred

  • A H Bennett Company
  • Abm Missile Radar Sites
  • American Oil Refinery
  • Amoco Chemical Company
  • Amoco Oil Company Refinery
  • Ang Coal Gasification Company
  • Anti-Ballistic Missle Safeguard Facility
  • Basic Electric Power Corp
  • Basin Electric Power Cooperative
  • Basin Electric Power Cooperative
  • Basin Electric Power Cooperative
  • Bismarck Civil Center
  • BNSF Railway Company
  • Boiler Plant State Hospital
  • BP Amoco North Dakota
  • Building Sprinkler Company, Inc.
  • Center Power Plant
  • Consumers Power Company
  • Cowan Building
  • Coyote Power Station
  • Crippled Childrens Hospital
  • Dakota Clinic
  • Dakota Hospital
  • F-M Insulation
  • Fargo Foundry & Steel Manufacturing
  • Garrison Dam
  • Grand Forks Air Force Base
  • Grand Forks Air Force Base
  • Grand Forks Gas and Electric Company
  • Grand Forks Missile Sites
  • Grand Forks Powerhouse
  • Great Northern Railroad
  • Greenberg Roofing & Sheet Metal Company
  • Heskett Station
  • Hughes Electric Company
  • Hughes Electric Company
  • Industrial Commission of N.D.
  • Jamestown Plumbing, Heating, & A/C, Inc.
  • Jamestown State Hospital
  • Langdon Missile Sites
  • Larimore Stock
  • Leeby Victor H Company
  • Leland Olds Generating Station
  • Lignite Combustion Engineering Company
  • Lignite Combustion Engineering Company
  • M&L Industrial Inc.
  • Macarthur Warehouse Building
  • Mandan Oil
  • Mandan Powerhouse
  • Memorial Union North Dakota State University
  • Milton R. Young Station
  • Minnesoto Northern Power Company
  • Minnkota Power Cooperative Inc
  • Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc.
  • Minot Air Force Base
  • Minot Air Force Base
  • Minot Light and Telephone Company
  • Minot Radar Station
  • Minuteman Missile Site
  • Minuteman Missile Site
  • Minuteman Missile Site
  • Missile Sites
  • Montana Dakota Power Company
  • Montana Dakota Utilities
  • Montana Dakota Utility Company
  • Montana-Dakota Utilities
  • Montana-Dakota Utilities Company
  • No Pacific Railway Plant
  • North Dakota 45 Basin
  • North Dakota Agricultural College
  • North Dakota Milling Company
  • North Dakota State Hospital
  • North Dakota State Industrial School
  • North Dakota State Peniteniary
  • North Dakota State University
  • Northern Pacific Railway Company
  • Northern States Power Company
  • Northern States Power Company
  • Northern States Power Company
  • Otter Tail Power Company
  • Par Missile Sites
  • Pillsbury Company
  • Red River Power Company
  • Rogers Brothers
  • Safeguard Facilities
  • Sornsin Company
  • Square Butte Electric Company
  • St. Johns Hospital
  • Standard Oil Company
  • Stanton Power Plant
  • State Hospital
  • State Hospital For Insane
  • State Industrial School
  • Strategic Air Command Air Base
  • Truax Traer Coal Company
  • Twining School
  • United Power Association
  • University of North Dakota
  • Walster North Dakota State University
  • Wellsboro Electric Company
  • West Acres

Find Mesothelioma Doctors, Lawyers and Asbestos Exposure Sites Near You

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

    Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Who Is At Risk of Exposure to Asbestos? U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

  • 2

    Cabrera-Santiago, Manuel et al. “Prevalence of Asbestos-Related Disease Among Electrical Power Generation Workers in Puerto Rico.” Presentation at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, 2007.

  • 3

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

  • 4

    EWG Action Fund. Asbestos Hotspots. Environmental Working Group. May 2005.

  • 5

    Sorahan, Tom. “Mortality of UK Oil Refinery and Petroleum Distribution Workers, 1951-2003.” Occupational Medicine 57, no. 3 (2007).