You are right, asbestos has been banned in the USA for many years. However, there are still many buildings that have asbestos -- schools, homes, etc. -- and there are other items with asbestos, such as car brakes. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral in certain rocks.
Here is the Environmental Protection Agency website detailing asbestos:
There is no real danger with asbestos until it becomes airborne and is inhaled, from what I understand.
Rather off topic, but...
Sort of offtopic, but do you know someone with the disease? I'm just curious what prompted you to start a topic about it?