A Town Called Asbestos

Welcome to the town of Asbestos, Quebec. These daylights,’ asbestos’ is a word witha sense of doom attached to it. But when this mine was opened in thelate 19 th century, that really wasn’t the case. Which is why they identified the city after it. This pit precisely now was the biggestasbestos mine in the world. Asbestos is a mineral, easily mined in quarries like this. It can be turned into strong, cheap, fire-resistant insulation, and it was used in a huge numberof construct jobs in the 20 th century.Either as large-hearted insulation blocks, or inceiling tiles, or only sprayed on as cladding. It was a miracle substance: it is possible to even be woven into garment, likemilitary uniforms or firefighters’ gloves. The catch is that it’s made up ofmicroscopic little fibrous quartzs. If you violate asbestos, drop it, sandpaper it, turn it into insularity and spray it around, those little fibres get into the airand build up in people’s lungs. Decades last-minute, people who’ve worked with absestos, or lived near an asbestos quarry, they tend to develop a particularly nastytype of cancer announced mesothelioma. Any showing to asbestos substances, nonetheless small-minded, can be dangerous. And in this town, there was sometimes so muchasbestos dust in the air that minors could write their honours in itwhen it settled.We know all that now, so: why haven’t they converted the figure? In 2006, the town’s then-mayortried to change it, but the idea was elected down. And I wanted to find out why, but no-one fromthe town wanted to talk to me. I emailed quite a few plazas, the local government, the historical society. Everyone either said no, they weren’t interested, or just didn’t reply. They were polite, of course, they’re Canadian, but it wasn’t for them. And it took me perhaps a little bit too longto realise why. The name entices beings like meand observers looks just like you. I knew this video was going to be titled”A Town Called Asbestos” right away, it’s the self-evident entitle, it’s got a ring to it. Which is why there’s already a five-part serieson YouTube from 2011 announced precisely that, developed in partnership by a researcher who devote yearswith this town. She turned her PhD into a volume, too titled”A Town Called Asbestos”. Vice.com published a seriesby a German photojournalist, titled “A Town Called Asbestos”.All the time, beings turn out now, to documentThe Town with The Name. Some of them, like this author, are thorough and sympathetic and take decades of autobiography into account. Some aren’t. Some time set up a camera by the mine overlook, come on for a couple of hours and movie something. Others don’t even tour, they just make funof them from the other side of the world.”Why? Because the town’s epithet is Asbestos.”[ AUDIENCE LAUGHTER] How do you feel about the call? Why don’t you change it? They’ve answered these same questionsfor years, and I believe they’revery, very tired of it. The clearest answer that I’ve feel is froman interview in the Globe and Mail in 2016. Ghislain Tessier, vice-president of a localchamber of exchange, said: “Asbestos was our lives.It was our heritage.” And I think that’s the key to why this townis still announced Asbestos. Because, yes, for most of the world, the name is alarming. But now, that’s tempered with the fact thatthis mine, like a coal quarry or a gold mine, it was how people prepared their living. Mass of beings worked in the excavation, and their parents, and their grandparents, and their great-grandparents. It was part of their identity, a mineral thatthe world wanted to use, it was impelled right here by them, and it saved men, and it truly was something to be proud of.Asbestos, and this mine, was defended by thefolks who worked now. In’ 97, just after France censored asbestos, four males from this city, four members of the luckier ones, ranged the Paris Marathon. And they were commended in a statementin Canada’s Parliament for showing that the risks weren’t that immense. Because the risks were drastically downplayedby the managers and by authority. Even after the world at large agreedhow hazardous asbestos is, economics and the desire for profit meantthat it was still quarried for decades now. This mine exclusively closed down in 2012. It’s only been a few years. Maybe the reputation will change, if exclusively to stop jolts like me coming alongand going,’ ooh, look at this place ‘. But not just yet. Dr Jessica van Horssen’s book is the definitivehistory of the town and the pit, a good deal of this video is based on it, and Ithoroughly recommend it ..

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