For years, asbestos was hailed as a wonder product. Extensively used in the construction industry thanks to its versatility and fire-proofing properties, the mineral was used in cement, boards, rope and many other products.
In the late 1870’s, an asbestos deposit was discovered in Canada, leading to a mine being built and a community created, a town was built and they named it after the mineral that had brought them together, Asbestos.
Ill-effects of asbestos
The popularity of the mineral asbestos grew across the world throughout the 1900’s, despite there being health concerns raised as early as the 1930’s. It was not until around the 1970’s that asbestos was being widely recognised as the cause of a number of health problems, the most devastating being mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a cancer which affects the lining of the body’s organs. As the asbestos fibres are most often inhaled, pleural mesothelioma, affecting the lining of the lungs, is the most common form of the disease. Mesothelioma can also affect the lining of the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma) and heart (pericardial mesothelioma).
Following recognition that asbestos caused such awful health conditions, its popularity dwindled and many countries banned the import and use of asbestos. In the UK, brown and blue asbestos were first banned and a complete ban on the use of asbestos, including white asbestos, was put in force in 2000. Worryingly, many countries still import, export and use asbestos still.
New name chosen
Due to the deadly legacy of asbestos, many of the 6,800 residents of the town, which only stopped its mining operations in 2011, have felt uneasy about the name and there have been concerns that the town was missing out on business opportunities due to the name. Recently, they held a four-day referendum about changing the town name, there were six options:
The winning name was Val-des-Sources with 51.5% of the vote and it is thought the name change will be in place in December.
If you require assistance in pursuing an asbestos compensation claim for mesothelioma or other asbestos disease then please contact us today on our freephone number 0800 038 6767. Alternatively, head over to the ‘Contact Us’ page, complete the form and we will be in touch.