White gold - Macleans.ca

White gold


The town of Asbestos stands by its namesake.

Gilles Morin, a popular community physician who worked for the company for 20 years before going into family medicine, agreed. “The rate of exposure to chrysotile fibres today is infinitesimally small,” he said. “I’m fed up with being treated like an imbecile or a contract killer because I support asbestos.”

Mr. Nicholls, one of his patients, walks slowly around his home, catching his breath as his lungs slowly harden from a disease that will eventually suffocate him. But he too feels the industry is “not as dangerous as it once was” – though he is genuinely worried about the health of less-protected workers abroad.

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White gold

  1. Why are we focused on asbestos all of a sudden? 

    Government and business have been teaming up for decades to sacrifice individuals for the sake of society. 

    If Government were serious about protecting citizens it would stop producing vehicles, tobacco and would ban bathrooms. Since that is never going to happen, I don’t understand what the fuss about asbestos is. 

    Also, I lived in South Korea in 1997-98. When mosquito season started, guys on scooters appeared with large drums jerry-rigged to back and they drove through residential neighbourhoods releasing chemical spray to mass kill mosquitoes. 

    Children under 10 would run behind mopeds and get high off fumes. I asked a university aged student of mine ….  wtf? 

    University student said it was long tradition – I had no idea at time but Third and Second world Governments buy chemicals and other dodgy items from North America and Europe companies that are banned domestically but sold internationally. 

    Don’t know accuracy but Korean student said mosquito spray was produced by American company in Canada and then sold abroad but not domestically. 

    “According to a recent study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, more than 43,000 children 18 years and younger in the United States are treated in hospital emergency departments annually for injuries occurring in a bathtub or shower.”


    Despite this decline, motor vehicle accidents remain a leading cause of death for young people. From 2000 through 2004, MVA deaths accounted for 1.3% of all deaths Canada, but 17.3% of all deaths among people younger than 30. 


    • Because it is something we can control.  I never used to wear a bike helmet as a kid in the 70’s and 80’s.  I learned, as did society in general, that head injuries and death are reduced by huge factors (some stats) by wearing a helmet when cycling.  Some provinces took note of the stats, listened to their ER doctors, and instituted mandatory helmet laws.  They took control over needless injury and death.

      The Canadian government can do the same with asbestos, simply by agreeing that it be listed as a hazardous substance and by attaching safety guarantees to companies importing the stuff abroad.  You should really watch the CBC video (also available on a Daily Show segment titled “Ored to Death”) that literally shows Indian workers shovelling piles of asbestos and walking through clouds of it without any safety equipment whatsoever.  The Indian government does not protect those workers, nor does whatever company they work for.  Canada’s refusal to accept basic hazard warnings on the material makes our government just as morally negligent as the Indian government and the companies condemning those workers to a slow, suffocating death.