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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

Global Investigations and Publicity on Increasing Global Asbestos Use – An Amazing Online Comp

Today continues the look at sources of global information regarding the burgeoning industries using asbestos, and their connections to sovereign governments. Here’s the story behind the story. The resources below are well worth a look and contemplation.

The Center for Public Integrity is the website host for a massive collection of information on the global asbestos trade, with a focus on Brazil, Canada, China, India, Mexico, Russia, and the United States. That extensive cache of information was created through joint efforts described below in this quote from the CPI website:

"In the fall of 2009, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists began looking into the global trade in asbestos, a cancer-causing fiber banned or restricted in much of the industrialized world but aggressively marketed in developing countries. What evolved was a nine-month investigation of an international lobby, much of it coordinated from Canada, which promotes the use of asbestos in construction materials and other products.

ICIJ joined with reporters and producers with the BBC’s International News Services to document the asbestos industry’s activities in Brazil, Canada, China, India, Mexico, Russia, and the United States. Our investigation concluded that the industry has spent nearly $100 million since the mid-1980s to keep asbestos in commerce. The team’s reporting reveals close relationships among the industry, governments and scientists, and cites predictions from health experts that new epidemics of asbestos-related disease will emerge in the coming decades. Some experts believe that by 2030, asbestos will have taken as many as 10 million lives around the world.

Dangers in the Dust: Inside the Global Asbestos Trade is based on extensive research in eight countries. The team relied on thousands of pages of documents, including court filings, scientific studies, and financial records, as well as on interviews with health officials, industry representatives, scientists, victims, lawyers, and activists."

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