A Town Called Asbestos

Welcome to the town of Asbestos, Quebec. These eras,’ 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 named the city after it. This oppose simply now was the biggestasbestos mine in the world. Asbestos is a mineral, easily quarried in pits like this. It can be turned into strong, inexpensive, fire-resistant insulation, and it was used in a huge numberof house projections in the 20 th century.Either as big-hearted isolation blocks, or inceiling tiles, or just sprayed on as cladding. It was a miracle substance: it is possible to even be entwine into robe, likemilitary uniforms or firefighters’ mitts. The catch is that it’s made up ofmicroscopic little fibrous crystals. If you divulge 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 mine, they tend to develop a particularly nastytype of cancer called mesothelioma. Any exposure to asbestos fibers, nonetheless small-time, can be dangerous. And in this town, there was sometimes so muchasbestos dust in the air that girls could write their figures in itwhen it resolved. We know all that now, so: why haven’t they reformed the specify? In 2006, the town’s then-mayortried to change it, but the relevant recommendations was voted down.And I wanted to find out why, but no-one fromthe town wanted to talk to me. I emailed quite a few neighbourhoods, the local government, the historical society. Everyone either said no, they weren’t interested, or only didn’t reply. They were polite, of course, they’re Canadian, but it wasn’t for them. And it made me perhaps a little bit too longto realise why. The figure allures people like meand onlookers 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 called exactly that, developed in partnership by a researcher who devote yearswith this town. She turned her PhD into a journal, too titled”A Town Called Asbestos”. Vice.com published a seriesby a German photojournalist, designation “A Town Called Asbestos”. All the time, parties turn out now, to documentThe Town with The Name. Some of them, like this author, are thorough and affectionate and make decades of record into account.Some aren’t. Some only set up a camera by the mine overlook, come on for a couple of hours and cinema something. Others don’t even see, they just make funof them from the other side of the world. “Why? Because the town’s figure is Asbestos.”[ AUDIENCE LAUGHTER] How do you feel about the list? Why don’t you change it? They’ve answered these same questionsfor years, and I suspect they’revery, very tired of it. The clearest answer that I’ve notice 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 called Asbestos. Because, yes, for most of the world, the refer is alarming.But now, that’s tempered with the fact thatthis mine, like a coal quarry or a gold mine, it was how people realise the living standards. Slew of beings acted 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 spawned right here by them, and it saved lifetimes, and it genuinely was something to be proud of. Asbestos, and this mine, was defended by thefolks who worked here. In’ 97, just after France restricted asbestos, four humanities from this town, four members of the luckier ones, guided 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 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 mined for decades now. This mine exclusively closed in 2012. It’s only been a few years. Maybe the refer will change, if merely to stop morons like me coming alongand becoming,’ ooh, look at this home ‘. But not just yet. Dr Jessica van Horssen’s book is the definitivehistory of the city and the excavation, a lot of this video is based on it, and Ithoroughly recommends the following ..

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