Asbestos is a known carcinogen, banned or restricted in 52 countries, but lobbyists and trade associations have kept the business alive by promoting its use in the developing world. A nine-month investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the BBC was published this week by the Center for Public Integrity.
The ICIJ investigation, “Dangers in the Dust,” has “tracked nearly $100 million in public and private money spent by these groups since the mid-1980s in three countries alone — Canada, India and Brazil — to keep asbestos in commerce. Their strategy, critics say, is one borrowed from the tobacco industry: create doubt, contest litigation, and delay regulation.”
Stories take a closer look at the amount of asbestos production and/or use in India, Brazil, the U.S., Russia, Mexico, and China, and examine marketing campaigns that promote asbestos use and efforts to ban the substance. An interactive map defines the nations that are top asbestos producers, exporters, and consumers around the world.