A Town Called Asbestos

Welcome to the town of Asbestos, Quebec. These periods,’ 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 city after it. This excavation simply here was the biggestasbestos mine in the world. Asbestos is a mineral, readily quarried in quarries like this. It can be turned into strong, inexpensive, fire-resistant insulation, and it was used in a huge numberof house projects in the 20 th century. Either as big-hearted insularity blocks, or inceiling tiles, or only sprayed on as cladding. It was a miracle substance: it is possible to even be knitted into clothe, likemilitary uniforms or firefighters’ gloves. The catch is that it’s made up ofmicroscopic little fibrous quartzs. If you end asbestos, drop it, sandpaper it, turn it into separation and scatter 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 mine, they tend to develop a particularly nastytype of cancer called mesothelioma. Any revelation to asbestos fibers, however big, can be dangerous. And in this town, there was sometimes so muchasbestos dust in the air that girls could write their appoints in itwhen it terminated. We know all that now, so: why haven’t they modified the appoint? 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 situates, the local government, the historical society. Everyone either said no, they weren’t interested, or really 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 identify attracts parties like meand witness like you. I knew this video was going to be titled”A Town Called Asbestos” right away, it’s the obvious claim, it’s got a ring to it.Which is why there’s already a five-part serieson YouTube from 2011 called accurately that, put together by a researcher who expend yearswith this town. She turned her PhD into a record, also titled”A Town Called Asbestos”. Vice.com published a seriesby a German photojournalist, named “A Town Called Asbestos”. All the time, people turn up now, to documentThe Town with The Name. Some of them, like this author, are thorough and compassionate and make decades of record into account. Some aren’t. Some simply set up a camera by the mine overlook, turn out for a couple of hours and cinema something. Others don’t even trip, they just make funof them from the other side of the world. “Why? Because the town’s refer 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 suppose they’revery, very tired of it.The clearest answer that I’ve attain is froman interview in the Globe and Mail in 2016. Ghislain Tessier, vice-president of a localchamber of busines, 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 list is alarming. But now, that’s tempered with the fact thatthis mine, like a coal mine or a gold mine, it was how people prepared their living.Lots of beings use 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 fixed 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 banned asbestos, four souls from this city, four of the luckier ones, guided the Paris Marathon.And they were congratulated in a statementin Canada’s Parliament for showing that the risks weren’t that enormous. Because the risks were drastically downplayedby the managers and by government. Even after the world at large agreedhow perilous 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 appoint will change, if merely to stop dorks 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 quarry, a good deal of this video is based on it, and Ithoroughly recommend it ..

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