Jewett American Review of Canadian Studies, Issue 46. By the 1970s it became impossible to deny the deleterious impact asbestos had upon health, and global demand plummeted. Though this strong conviction can sometimes cloud the motives and intricacies of the intent of the historical actors Van Horssen describes, she undoubtedly portrays the company as culpable in the workers' sickness. This understanding remains elusive and incomplete. For over a century, manufacturers from around the world relied on asbestos to produce a multitude of fire-retardant products from building materials to auto parts to household appliances. The Introduction and Chapter 1 cover the founding of the town and initial mining operations up to 1918. The town was named for the mineral, which when added to materials made them flame resistant, an increasingly important quality in the industrializing world.
Chapters 2, 3, and 4 all examine the period from 1918 to 1949 from different vantage points. Van Horssen argues that the local fluctuations within the town of Asbestos were intimately connected to the global asbestos market. As with other resource communities, the town shared its fate with its largest employer. A Town Called Asbestos: Environmental Contamination, Health, and Resilience in a Resource Community. Initially the miners kept in good spirits and received aid from their union and supporters.
Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2016. This put it in conflict with the local community. When business boomed and jobs were plentiful, the population grew, public works projects expanded, and local businesses prospered. Efforts to diversify the local economy have been more miss than hit, and over the past thirty years the population has halved. There is one chapter that describes Asbestos before the arrival of jm, three chapters that narrate the history of Asbestos between 1918 and 1949, one chapter that closely follows the events of the 1949 strike, and then three chapters on the history of the town between 1949 and 1983. Urban History Review 44, n o 1-2 2015 : 85—87. This book unearths the local-global tensions that defined Asbestos's proud and painful history to reveal the challenges similar resource communities have faced - and continue to face today.
It also raises some important questions, not only about the survival of communities reliant upon a single major employer but also regarding our federal government's willingness to use its positive international profile to market a hazardous product to developing nations. Jewett American Review of Canadian Studies, Issue 46. » Urban History Review, volume 44, numéro 1-2, fall 2015, spring 2016, p. Van Horssen introduces every chapter with a short vignette about current-day Asbestos. Thoroughly researched in the archives -- its is, after all, based on a doctoral dissertation -- A Town Called Asbestos situates this particular town within a broader context of resource communities.
If economic necessity saw mill employees literally work themselves to death, the recklessness of insurers and regulators remains inexplicable. Then, over time, people learned about the mineral's devastating effects on human health. Read this book and feel the author's moral outrage. Rather than being ashamed of their past, it seems the townspeople who remain have embraced it with a certain moxie. Company doctors and leaders continued to subvert medical information on the lethal outcomes of asbestos exposure. If economic necessity saw mill employees literally work themselves to death, the recklessness of insurers and regulators remains inexplicable. The people of Asbestos failed to fight further for their health, resigning themselves to working for a dying industry.
Overall, Van Horssen argues that the story of the Johns-Manville Company's jm action in Asbestos was one of duplicity and dishonesty. Environmental historians and geographers have a key role to play in these debates, but the emerging scholarly frameworks have destabilize simple notions of a timeless or separate thing we call Nature. For those interested in the history of Asbestos, Quebec, this is the book to read. If economic necessity saw mill employees literally work themselves to death, the recklessness of insurers and regulators remains inexplicable. A Town Called Asbestos is, quite remarkably, the first book-length study to consider the environmental history and geography of this storied and troubled place. For decades, manufacturers from around the world relied on asbestos from the town of Asbestos, Quebec, to produce fire-retardant products.
Utilizing political support and funding from the federal and provincial governments, the mine stayed open, and new markets for asbestos were found in developing nations with weaker public health and safety regulations. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2016. Her research mainly focuses on asbestos and environmental health in Canada and along the global commodity chain. Instead, pride of place led to serious and unfortunate outcomes in the mining of a mineral, harming the town and the world beyond it. Mining and manufacturing companies downplayed the risks to workers and the general public, but eventually, as the devastating nature of asbestos-related deaths became common knowledge, the industry suffered a slow, terminal decline. Local, regional, and national public officials refused to regulate asbestos mining, dependent on the monies the industry brought.
The three chapters that precede the 1949 strike and the three that follow each focus on the same timeline, but they are divided according to theme, with one chapter each devoted to environmental, political, and medical history. Urban History Review, 44 1-2 , 85—87. But not all was rosy within this picture. The E-mail message field is required. Can this failure be due to the conservative nature of francophone, Catholic unionism? Read this book and feel the author's moral outrage. In eight chapters plus an introduction and conclusion, the book chronicles the story of this Canadian resource town. It is a vital contribution to our knowledge of Canadian natural resource industries and the people who made their collection possible.
The miners responded to this treatment with the 1949 strike, which Van Horssen argues was a local conflict, pushing back against previous narratives of the clash. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2016. Moreover, the language barrier prevented the workers from reading the often-damning studies of asbestos coming. If economic necessity saw mill employees literally work themselves to death, the recklessness of insurers and regulators remains inexplicable. Thoroughly researched in the archives -- its is, after all, based on a doctoral dissertation -- A Town Called Asbestos situates this particular town within a broader context of resource communities. Using neglected sources, Chapter 4 explores company-town relationships, and contentions over land use and company policies prior to the 1949 strike. The mineral that once proved so useful due to its fire-retardant qualities is the root cause of numerous deadly illnesses, including asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer.