A Town Called Asbestos

  • Published on: 21 May 2018
  • In Quebec, Canada, there's a town called Asbestos. It's an alarming name, one that conjures up images of lung disease and mesothelioma. So why haven't they changed it? [Update, December 2019: they may change it! https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/05/canada-asbestos-town-renaming-plan ]

    Dr Jessica van Horssen's book, "A Town Called Asbestos", was invaluable for my research. Its ISBN is 9780774828420, and it can be ordered from most libraries and bookstores.

    Her five-part YouTube series starts here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-66YqEHkzA

    The Story of Asbestos (1922): https://archive.org/details/0929StoryOfAsbestos
    According to Plan: The Story of Modern Sidewalls for the Homes of America (1952): https://archive.org/details/Accordin1952
    The Gruen Transfer: How To Sell Asbestos, Canada: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIpxelbkI0I

    USGS public domain microscopy of asbestos: https://usgsprobe.cr.usgs.gov/picts2.html

    The Canadian parliament quote is an official Hansard translation from the original French: http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/eppp-archive/100/201/301/hansard-f/35-2/153_97-04-10/153SM1E.html#9543

    I'm at http://tomscott.com
    on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott
    on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott
    and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
  • Runtime : 4:30
  • tom scott amazing places asbestos quebec jeffrey mine mesothelioma asbestosis a town called asbestos

COMMENTS: 40

  • Dan T
    Dan T   42 minuts ago

    Ah yes my favourite song by The Jam

  • TallishSubset
    TallishSubset   6 hours ago

    They dont change the name because "asbestos" doesnt mean anything in french, because they dont give a damn and because it would be expensive.

  • Rob
    Rob   1 days ago

    Coal has caused far more damage than asbestos ever could but people are still proud of that. Undisturbed asbestos is perfectly safe. Coal is always damaging from production to use.

  • symbungee
    symbungee   1 days ago

    The Asbestos Ranges in Tasmania have been renamed to their Aboriginal name. Partly because of the negative connotations of having a tourist attraction named 'Asbestos'

  • Mr. UwU
    Mr. UwU   1 days ago

    Even then, I think it was midly rude from academic centres to refuse to talk about the topic. Maybe even not rude, but against the whole principle of what academia should be.

  • TraskForge
    TraskForge   2 days ago

    so basically, its like Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch?

  • moonlilly
    moonlilly   2 days ago

    how the hell do people live there thou

  • boxofcloud69
    boxofcloud69   3 days ago

    recently found out some of the lab equipment in my school was full of asbestoslove that for us

  • The RedEther
    The RedEther   1 weeks ago

    There’s a Russian town called Asbestos, they still mine it there and there’s no sign of it stopping.

  • WJ R
    WJ R   1 weeks ago

    Its Quebec. Of course they didnt want to talk.

  • jamit2u
    jamit2u   1 weeks ago

    So confused they worry about asbestos but yet same people push abortion to kill as many kids as possible

  • Völundr Frey
    Völundr Frey   1 weeks ago

    In terms of the name it seems quite pointless to change it, people aren't gonna flock to it just because they change the name, it's a french speaking part of canada, and the few people who are scared away because of the name aren't really people you want in your town anyways. And more importantly it's an important part of the town's history, and you shouldn't just change those things because it may have some inconvenient connotations... people in 2020 has something to learn from the name of this town.

  • guerillawhite
    guerillawhite   2 weeks ago

    i had no idea what asbestos was until this video

  • deathlyhxIlows
    deathlyhxIlows   2 weeks ago

    someone mentions asbestosme: jojo siwa makeup flashes into my mind

  • Dan_Spark
    Dan_Spark   2 weeks ago

    There is also a Russian Town called asbest with a still functioning mine who I believe still use asbestos

  • Sam Harrington
    Sam Harrington   3 weeks ago

    “They were polite of course, they were Canadian” I dies😂

  • scatman
    scatman   1 months ago

    Typical Quebec not wanting to speak to an English speaker, infamously rude people

  • Andy Kim
    Andy Kim   1 months ago

    I was expecting to hear about Asbest in Russia.

  • Instamatics
    Instamatics   1 months ago

    that o in the sign looks like the mac frozen cursor.

  • A Warm Gun
    A Warm Gun   1 months ago

    Why don't you change the name?We've heard this time and time again and we've answered it already....we can't be arsed.

  • The Screem Regular
    The Screem Regular   1 months ago

    I want to go to that town when the pandemic ends maybe next year?

  • Astfgl
    Astfgl   1 months ago

    I learned about the existence of Asbestos last year when I flew over it on a flight from Saint John NB to Montreal. The mine pit is very clearly visible from the sky and it piqued my curiosity. Fascinating to learn about the history of the town and the mine, and what it means to the people who live there.

  • Jabersson
    Jabersson   1 months ago

    I know this is 2 years late but I just wanna say I had grandparents who lived in Asbestos and I frequently visited the town. In all my time there, seeing the mine and visiting museums, it had never occurred to me why people didn't change the name or why it was bad. This video paints an unfortunate truth about the town, that even I never picked up on in all my years at the place, and it leaves me feeling sort of bittersweet. I guess you really gotta see things from an outside perspective sometimes...Good video though!

  • Nico M
    Nico M   1 months ago

    Hey devienne quoi. Il vient au Québec . Wow.And you know what it's changing now

  • UberKrassMann
    UberKrassMann   1 months ago

    and then rioters tore down any statues that reminded them of their history of asbestos.

  • Dirty Harry
    Dirty Harry   2 months ago

    This must be the "Port Asbestos" they're referring to in the Red Green Show.

  • Samuel Boulanger
    Samuel Boulanger   2 months ago

    Did you see the big truck in front of the Asbestos arena? Clearly more worth it than the mine!!!

  • Youcant Stopme!
    Youcant Stopme!   2 months ago

    What's your opinion of "Lost Causer's" it is hate not heritage what they try and uphold.

  • Pactura
    Pactura   2 months ago

    It's not in "quebec", it's on the land of the wabanaki confederacy

  • Yellow
    Yellow   2 months ago

    Time for "A town called Swastika"

  • L. Dexter
    L. Dexter   2 months ago

    As an aussie, I stand by that Gruen joke from our ABC

  • Daniel Pizarro
    Daniel Pizarro   2 months ago

    This year 'Asbestos' will change its name after the Municipal Council voted to do so in 2019. A public poll will be conducted to help decide on the new name..

  • S_VB
    S_VB   2 months ago

    fun fact: a lot of old gasmask filters use asbestos in there filter medium(all pre 1945 all soviet filters and some other post 1945 filters)

  • SynthwaveFox
    SynthwaveFox   2 months ago

    If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to financial compensation.