Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Asbestos in brakes: One community's struggle

Former brake workers continue to see asbestos-related diseases.

Rick Garant can vividly recall the asbestos-filled dust that swirled around the old brake factory where he worked in Tilbury, Ont., near Windsor, in the 1980s.

"White masks used to go black by the end of the shift," he says. "I'd blow my nose and the Kleenex would be black."

The Tilbury plant produced brake pads for commercial trucks and like many other brake manufacturers, used asbestos as a friction material until the late-1980s.

Though Canadian brake manufacturers have stopped using asbestos in brake pads, an Ontario MPP tabled a bill on Wednesday, March 21, that if passed will ban the millions of dollars worth of asbestos pads that continue to enter the country each year via imports. Read More