Resources for Patients and their Families



Valves Used In All Kind of Machinery

Almost every type of industrial machinery includes one or more valves to control or stop the current of gasses, liquids or other substances that flow throughout the equipment. The valves can be fully opened to achieve a solid flow, or turned down to limit it. Often, the materials that pass through a valve do so in intense heat situations, so the valves must be able to endure even the highest temperatures. To accomplish this, many valves were lined with insulation that was made out of asbestos.

Valves Lined with Asbestos

Since the later 1800's, asbestos was used as an insulating material. The mineral was found in large natural deposits, and after some initial tests, researchers determined that it could not only withstand great heat or cold, but that it could also help control the spread of fire. These qualities made it ideal for insulation, and for hundreds of other products as well.

Valves that were lined with asbestos were a necessary component, but the type of insulation used eventually had to be switched to something else entirely. This was because continuing research uncovered the fact that the mineral contains toxins and is a health hazard to anyone who gets near it. Microscopic dust particles of the material can easily break apart from any item and become airborne. This allows people to inhale them, even though they will not be aware it has happened.

Inhaling asbestos can produce a variety of harmful results. The particles will scar the lungs and other tissues and will make normal breathing functions labored and difficult. They also cause a chronic respiratory disorder called asbestosis which can be very uncomfortable and painful. Worst case scenarios lead to the development of a cancer known as mesothelioma. A large number of the people who are plagued with this disease are killed by it, because there is currently no cure. There are different mesothelioma cell types including papillary mesothelioma and sarcomatoid mesothelioma. Both men and women can be affected, and smoking increases the chances of being diagnosed with the disease if an individual has been exposed to asbestos. Our mesothelioma resources section provides much more information about the illness.

Asbestos is a Hazardous Substance

Subsequent to the discovery of the dangers asbestos contains, most manufacturers stopped using it. Some, however, continued to include it in their products. This led to many more people becoming afflicted by the hazardous substance. In addition, many of the products that already included the toxic mineral were not replaced and disposed of. This means there may still be older valves in use that contain the hazardous substance, and more people may be exposed to it as a result.

Valves Products Containing Asbestos

The following partial list of valves products were known to contain asbestos:

Product Name Start Year End Year
Garlock Valve Stem Packing
Raymark Valve Rings

You May be Eligible for Compensation

Anyone who faces exposure to asbestos may be eligible to demand monetary compensation from the company that produced the valve or other contaminated product. To find out how to participate in a lawsuit, read our informative brochure. It discusses the procedures to obtain the reparations you deserve, as well as many important facts about asbestos and the health hazards it is responsible for creating. This brochure is available to everyone, and absolutely free upon request.

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