Industry News

Asbestos, Quebec

Asbestos Is Illegal In Canada

… But Not The Town Of That Name; And Asbestos IS Legal In U.S.

I’m not making this up.

There’s a town in Quebec, Canada, named “Asbestos.”

No, really.

Asbestos (the substance, not the Canadian town) was once highly valued.  (Well, I think the town was once highly valued too, and probably still is as far as its residents are concerned.)


Because asbestos is cheap to mine, and inexpensive and easy to use in manufacturing products.

So when a deposit of the stuff was found near the town in 1897, well, they just couldn’t help naming the town after the product for which it was known.

So why are they holding a local election next month to change the town’s name?

Turns out this once-valued substance is bad stuff… and that news has even reached the farthest corners of Canada.

Asbestos Is Ugly!

… And it’s deadly.

Little did the Town Fathers and Town Mothers know, more than a century ago, but asbestos is a very dangerous substance.

And asbestos is all around us (the stuff, not the town, which does not move around and is fixed in its location in Quebec).  It’s in your ceiling tiles, maybe.  And your pipe insulation.  And even in that makeup your teenaged daughter bought at Claire’s Boutique (really!).

In fact, in its undisturbed state, asbestos is nothing to worry much about.  For instance, as long as you don’t have a basement flood or house fire… or a remodeling project gone wrong… you don’t have to panic about all that asbestos in the building materials on your property.

But when it IS disturbed, asbestos breaks into zillions of microscopic fibers which can lodge in your body and give you illnesses you can’t come back from (most notably, fatal mesothelioma lung cancer).

We’ve known this for decades.  Which is probably why the U.S. federal government outlawed asbestos a few years ago.

However, that ban was overturned almost as quickly as it was instituted.

You still can’t produce asbestos in the U.S., but you can certainly import it… and tons of the ugly stuff are imported into the country every year.

Ugly – and deadly – as it is, asbestos is still legal in the United States!

So They’re Changing The Name Of Asbestos, Quebec

Maybe they’ll change it to “Radiation,” or perhaps something like “Coronavirus.”

But, hopefully, the residents of Asbestos will choose something less, well, ugly.

Consider this: “Coronavirus, Quebec” might be considered less ugly than “Asbestos”… virtually 100% of mesothelioma patients do succumb to that disease, while your chances of surviving The ‘Rona are about 98%.

But neither sounds very nice.

Maybe they’ll go with something much better.  Here’s hoping so!

Asbestos IS ugly… but it doesn’t pose a problem you can’t solve.  Get your property tested, and then you’ll know what you’re up against.  And when you’re ready, having the asbestos abated from your property is easier and less-expensive than you might think.  If everyone in Asbestos, Quebec did that, they might want to rename their town something like “Cleanandsafe.”  Ha ha!  Maybe not, though.