Three Washington State Ferries workers have been awarded more than $1.1 million because of exposure to chlorine gas on the ferry Tacoma in 2004.

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Three Washington State Ferries workers have been awarded more than $1.1 million because of exposure to chlorine gas on the ferry Tacoma in 2004.

According to the men’s attorney, the ferry system allowed the absorbent powder Hi ‘N Dri and bleach on the ferries without investigating the potential harm from combinations of the chemical products during normal cleaning operations. He said when the workers were cleaning a restroom, the products created a toxic cloud of chlorine gas, causing coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing that will require lifetime medications.

King County Superior Court Judge Glenna Hall found that “the chlorine gas which resulted from the mixture of Hi ‘N Dri and bleach constituted an unseaworthy condition.”

She said “all three of the crew members who were exposed to the chlorine developed significant and permanent occupational asthma” and ruled that “the storage and combination of Hi ‘N Dri and bleach was neither reasonably fit for its intended use, nor a safe method of operation.”