A Town Called Asbestos

Welcome to the town of Asbestos, Quebec. These dates,’ 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 reputation the town after it. This quarry time here was the biggestasbestos mine in the world. Asbestos is a mineral, easily mined in cavities like this. It can be turned into strong, cheap, fire-resistant insulation, and it was used in a huge numberof structure assignments in the 20 th century.Either as big insularity blocks, or inceiling tiles, or just sprayed on as cladding. It was a miracle substance: it is possible to even be knitted into apparel, likemilitary uniforms or firefighters’ gauntlets. The catch is that it’s made up ofmicroscopic little fibrous crystals. If you end 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 later, 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 big, can be dangerous. And in this town, there was sometimes so muchasbestos dust in the air that girls could write their words in itwhen it decided. We know all that now, so: why haven’t they altered the name? In 2006, the town’s then-mayortried to change it, but the idea was elected down. And I just wanted to know why, but no-one fromthe town wanted to talk to me. I emailed quite a few situates, the local government, the historical society.Everyone either said no, they weren’t interested, or time 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 refer allures parties like meand sees like you. I knew this video was going to be titled”A Town Called Asbestos” right away, it’s the obvious entitle, it’s got a ring to it. Which is why there’s already a five-part serieson YouTube from 2011 announced precisely that, put together by a researcher who squander yearswith this town. She turned her PhD into a journal, too titled”A Town Called Asbestos”.Vice.com published a seriesby a German photojournalist, entitled “A Town Called Asbestos”. All the time, people come on here, to documentThe Town with The Name. Some of them, like this author, are thorough and pity and make decades of autobiography into account. Some aren’t. Some only set up a camera by the mine overlook, turn up for a couple of hours and film something. Others don’t even trip, they just make funof them from the other side of the world. “Why? Because the town’s appoint is Asbestos.”[ AUDIENCE LAUGHTER] How do you feel about the name? Why don’t you remained unchanged? They’ve answered these same questionsfor years, and I suspect they’revery, very tired of it.The clearest answer that I’ve locate is froman interview in the Globe and Mail in 2016. Ghislain Tessier, vice-president of a localchamber of industry, said: “Asbestos was our lives.It was our heritage.” And I think that’s the key to why this townis still called Asbestos. Because, yes, for most of the world, the honour is alarming. But here, that’s tempered with the fact thatthis mine, like a coal excavation or a gold mine, it was how people stirred their living. Lots of people directed 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 cleared right here by them, and it saved beings, and it certainly 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 humankinds from this city, four of the luckier ones, rolled the Paris Marathon. And they were praised in a statementin Canada’s Parliament for showing that the risks weren’t that great.Because the risks were drastically downplayedby management and by government. Even after the world at large agreedhow dangerous asbestos is, economics and the desire for profit meantthat it was still mined for decades here. This mine only closed down in 2012. It’s only been a few years. Maybe the epithet will change, if only to stop jerkings like me coming alongand extending,’ 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 recommends the following ..

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