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.
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Lobbyists push asbestos use in the developing world
Carrie Ching is an award-winning, independent multimedia journalist and producer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. For six years, she led digital storytelling projects at the Center for Investigative Reporting as senior multimedia producer. Her multimedia reports have been featured by NPR.org, The Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Grist, Time.com, Fast Company, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, KQED, PBS NewsHour, Salon.com, Mother Jones, Public Radio International, Poynter, Columbia Journalism Review and many other publications. Her specialty is crafting digital narratives and exploring ways to use video, audio, photography, animation and interactive graphics to push the boundaries of storytelling on the Web, tablets and mobile. Her work has been honored with awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Best of the West, the Online News Association, Scripps Howard, The Gracies, and was part of the entry in a Pulitzer-finalist project. Prior to her time at CIR she was a magazine and book editor, video journalist, newspaper reporter and TV comedy scriptwriter. She was on the 2010 Eddie Adams Workshop faculty as a multimedia producer working with MediaStorm to teach digital storytelling techniques to photojournalists. She completed a master’s degree in journalism at UC Berkeley in 2005.