Well-Known Member • Texas bottle guy
- Jul 1, 2020
- Reaction score
- Southern Texas
Meanwhile in Russia:I'm not concerned about the wet asbestos pieces, what I'm not so sure about is all the dried-out pieces in the intertidal zone. And I have a very distinct memory of the bags of finds that we brought back from the beach containing at least a couple chunks of what I now realize was probably asbestos sheeting. Now that I think about it I also remember being a kid lying on the top bunk bed in our 70s house and kicking at the crumbly popcorn ceiling with my feet. I wonder how much asbestos was in that.
And yeah it's pretty incredible how long the companies got away with suppressing the knowledge that asbestos and lead were harmful. To me the most incredible part of the history of asbestos is that in the early 1950s, after the link between cigarettes and cancer first became widely known in the US, a lot of smokers switched to filtered Kent cigarettes because of the perceived health benefits - except that the filters were made of crocidolite, an unusual type of asbestos so much deadlier than the standard chrysotile that it's treated more like radioactive waste than like typical asbestos. The town in Australia where they mined it was evacuated and demolished by the government, and houses found to be insulated with it are bought by the government and bulldozed rather than remediated. Since asbestos and cigarette smoke in combination are more carcinogenic than the sum of each in isolation, it wouldn't surprise me if the original Kent cigarettes are the most toxic product ever sold.
Canada was still producing asbestos until just a few years ago actually. We'd banned it for almost all purposes domestically decades ago, but still mined it to sell to developing countries until the Parti Quebecois got elected and permanently shut down the Quebec mines back in 2012 (the previous provincial government had planned to lend money to reopen them after a temporary closure). Up until then the feds had strongly supported it too, with the prime minister infamously defending the asbestos industry in Parliament while having all the asbestos removed from the building over safety concerns.