Asbestos is one of those lethal toxins that should not persist as a problem in this country, but it does. Companies still use it, workers are still exposed to it and 10,000 Americans still die from asbestos-related illnesses every year.
In January 2014, a new ruling was issued in an asbestos case involving Garlock Sealing Technologies. You may never have heard of this company, but anyone who has worked on a Navy ship or submarine probably has. Garlock made gaskets that contain asbestos, which are used in pipes and valves that transport hot fluids -- so hot, in fact, that the gaskets often disintegrate and require replacement. Sometimes by the time a worker gets to the asbestos gasket, it is "crushed" and "baked to the surface" and has to be pulled or torn off in "bits and pieces," as one worker explained in testimony. This creates dust. And the dust is inhaled.