This story from yesterday’s Sherbrooke Record is a must-read for anyone interested in the pathos, misinformation, and outright dishonesty that still drives the asbestos industry. With mere annual sales of 200,000 tons per year, and unable to compete with paragons of worker safety like Russia, Brazil, China, and Zimbabwe, the chrysotile mines in Canada are slated for closing.
This article briefly touches on the dangers of chrysotile, notes that it has been banned worldwide with few exceptions, and closes with a moving discussion of the industry’s efforts to save asbestos mining through the most cynical ploy imaginable: as a crucial aspect of workers’ rights! There are no discussions of other workers’ rights such as health, occupational safety, or the right not to be exposed to lethal carcinogens, which the article grudgingly admits that chrysotile may perhaps possibly be.
For anyone who thinks that the global asbestos industry is dead, this article clearly lines out who the major players are, their strategy for selling in poor countries, and their attempt to circumvent science with fraudulent pretensions to concern for the job security of laborers. Incredible!