Believe it or not, Asbestos's first use began as a flame retardant and corrosion resistant substance. Construction workers also added this to cement forms because of how it made the building last longer. What happened that turned this, "miracle mineral" into a substance with a bad rap sheet?
Asbestos first began in the early 1900s, and most industrial revolutionists saw asbestos as a technological wonder. Because of some of its properties, asbestos became a popular choice in shipping, aviation, automobiles and even saw use in military applications. Researchers first speculated about the potential for health complications in the early 1970s. Irving Selikoff first ushered in these global regulations on it, and the laws have continued to evolve ever since.
The Changes Inspired
Industry-wide change came as these regulations took effect and everything from mining to the usage of dangerous asbestos became controlled. The international communities soon made recommendations, and they chose to specifically regulate the asbestos known as white asbestos. This has also been called chrysotile. Exposure to harmful asbestos goes through what's known as a "latency period," which can, unfortunately, take decades before the full manifestations are realized. The initial identification of it has made it an ongoing challenge for those working in the public health sector.
The Long-term Health Effects
We must understand the long-term health effects of asbestos if we will be able to defend ourselves against it. Researchers have continued ongoing studies on the long-term effects over the last couple decades. This substance will eventually get carried into the lower regions of the lungs where it can start a condition known as fibrotic lung disease. The asbestos warps the lining of the chest cavity and causes many problems.
Asbestos Still Used Today?
Many developed nations have continued to use safe asbestos in building materials because researchers have found how it doesn't pose a threat to the people. Safe asbestos has sometimes turned into a political pawn along the campaign trail. Researchers have found how chrysotile or the white asbestos can be safe when it gets managed correctly. However, the Canadian government continues in its efforts to ban this substance because what does "safe" mean? In the contemporary liberal political ideology, the government takes on a serious responsibility to maintain the public standards of health. It sounds like a noble effort, but this often turns into empty political promises and efforts with an ineffective execution. Justin Trudeau has tried to ban asbestos, but his efforts have proven wasted overall.
Regulation won't eliminate the safe kinds of asbestos. Because of the lack of interest, Trudeau has chosen an approach where he lets the public sleep on it. Not to mention, the mineral is okay when it has been left in an undisturbed state. Further legislation around asbestos could do more harm than good to a number of industries, which is why it has gone ignored. In particular, it could send shockwaves throughout the working middle class and have a dramatic negative impact on small business owners.