Download Defending the Indefensible: The Global Asbestos Industry and by Jock McCulloch PDF

By Jock McCulloch

Within the early 20th century, asbestos had a name as a lifesaver. In 1960, even if, it grew to become recognized that even quite short publicity to asbestos could cause mesothelioma, a virulent and deadly melanoma. but the majority of the world's asbestos was once mined after 1960. Asbestos utilization in lots of international locations endured unabated. this can be the 1st international heritage of ways the asbestos and its allies in govt, assurance, and medication defended the product during the 20th century. It explains how mining and manufacture may well proceed regardless of overwhelming clinical proof as to the hazards. The argument complex during this ebook is that asbestos has proved so enduring as the was once in a position to mount a winning safeguard procedure for the mineral--a technique that also operates in a few elements of the realm. This defence concerned the shaping of the general public debate via censoring, and infrequently corrupting, clinical study, nurturing medical uncertainty, and utilizing allies in executive, assurance, and drugs. The booklet additionally discusses the issues of asbestos within the atmosphere, compensating sufferers, and the ongoing use of asbestos within the constructing international. Its worldwide concentration indicates how asbestos could be visible as a version for plenty of occupational diseases--indeed for a complete variety of dangers produced by way of business societies. The e-book is predicated on a wealth of documentary fabric received from criminal discovery, supplemented by means of facts from the authors' visits and researches within the US, the united kingdom, Canada, Kazakhstan, Zimbabwe, Australia, Swaziland, and South Africa.

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By the 1920s, T&N accounted for nearly half of UK asbestos manufacture and its Rochdale factory was the world’s largest asbestos textile plant. 15 T&N was the only company of comparable size and influence to JohnsManville and, like its US competitor, T&N relied upon vertical integration to guarantee a supply of cheap fibre. It operated mines in Quebec and southern Africa. The asbestos industry was too large and diverse to characterize easily. There was more than one type of fibre, and there were several asbestos markets.

Asbestos was also a common ingredient in talcum powders, where it found its way into condoms. During the twentieth century, sufficient asbestos cement (a/c) pipe was manufactured in the US alone to circle the earth eight times and still run to the moon and back. 2 Asbestos occurs widely in the earth’s crust and many countries including the US, Australia, Italy, Brazil, India, and Kazakhstan have mined chrysotile. Mining began in Vermont in 1899 where the deposits are part of the serpentine belt which runs through Quebec.

4 Most of the asbestos used in the US came from Quebec, which once boasted ten of the thirteen mines in Canada. The US also imported chrysotile from Zimbabwe and amphiboles from South Africa and Australia. E. T. Mossman, ‘Asbestos Revisited’, Scientific American (July 1997), pp. 54–7. 3 In 1970, US domestic production reached 125,314 tonnes or 3% of world output. K. J. Selikoff, ‘Historical Background to the Asbestos Problem’, Environmental Research 18 (April 1979), ii, pp. 300–14. L. Virta, Worldwide Asbestos Supply and Consumption Trends from 1900 through 2003 (USGS, 2006), pp.

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