A Town Called Asbestos

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Tom Scott : Pull down the description for all the references and sources I used in this video! And do research the history of Canada and asbestos; there's some quite dark decisions made there.

Mr. Boppin : "No one from the town wants to talk to me," relatable

Revo Clockwork : A surprisingly meta video from you this time. The respect I have for you now is through the roof.

Mister Apple : This totally got me. I saw the title and expected an interesting look at a town with a strange name. And I got that, but also an even more interesting look on people reporting on the town with the strange name. One of my favourite Tom Scott videos in a while.

Álvaro Lopes : Imagine a place called "Amazon". It just chills me to think about the possibility.

Chad Mojito : Amusingly, the town motto is "To Live Healthy"

PYL the Scientist : I'm from Quebec and I must add that another reason for not changing the name is that we simply speak French. For many of us, the word asbestos means nothing. The French word for it is Amiante. Although the whole region is named L'amiante

Yuval Nehemia : “They were polite, of course, they are Canadian.” OMG


Elrich Jr : Over here, in Belarus (basically Russia, but smaller and more communist), we have a city, where potassium salt is mined. It's called "Soligorsk". Soli and gorsk are Russian for salts and city, together making something like "Salt town". All Russian cs go players are from here

The Cheaterman : It's interesting how they seem to call it Asbestos, or use the mineral name, instead of the French "Amiante". It could be a regional thing - many of the words and expressions used by Québécois are inspired by English. Great video in any case, and interesting point about why we should maybe stop talking about it altogether and let the locals do their grievance.

Lashan : They only closed the mine in 2012?? Were they completely out of their minds?

Patrick Hanft : What a great twist and deep second layer your video has here. I think it is a great observation and shows a lot of empathy to appreciate the perspective of those who lived and worked there and what the history of their town means to them. Great video, thank you!

hens0w : I don't get why everone is insistant on name changes so often. History need not be forgot so easly

Justin Y. : They're is a clever cancer joke to be made but I don't have the brain power to make it

Angry Crafters : "All these science spheres are made of asbestos, by the way. Keeps out the rats. Let us know if you feel a shortness of breath, a persistent dry cough or your heart stopping. Because that's not part of the test. That's asbestos." "Good news is, the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show a median latency of forty-four point six years, so if you're thirty or older, you're laughing. Worst case scenario, you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face." -Cave Johnson (from the wiki)

Jmc76 : As a Québécois, if you tell me "Asbestos", I think of the town, not the english name for the mineral called «amiante». I don't think the name will ever change.

12799MaDeuce : Aside from the "tourism" attention [for lack of a better term] , and the fact that it's such a huge part of their history, I think one could also argue that keeping the town's name and thus garnering attention helps keep alive the memory of this massive industrial f-up. We have a nasty habit of forgetting stuff like that.

Lhorez : If you want another oddly named town you should go east a bit to Dildo Newfoundland. (It’s named after a boat.) It’s also about an hour’s drive to Conception Bay according to Google maps which I find hard to believe because when I drove my wife from Dildo to Conception it well … took a lot longer than an hour.

KayPeaThree 3 : There’s another town called asbest, in Eastern Europe or Russia,after the asbestos mine which is still active I think.

BangersAndMash98 : Could be worse, in Ontario, there's a town named "Swastika"

Pierre Plante : A big "thank you" for this one... for us, the name of the place represent the people not the mine itself. I live in Drummondville, a city not very far from the town and we all know (I think) at leat one person in the place and respect the hard work they had to make when the mine was closed...as I see they are doing quite well.

Daniel Mongan : Reminds me of Rare Earth's video The People Who Hate Us, but instead of chasing after you with a broom they're politely declining interviews

Matt Hunter : It's history damn it, why should they change the name?

Alexandre Simoneau : It's also called "Amiante" here, so the name doesn't ring a bell as bas as everywhere.

LazerLord10 : Yeah, my highschool had asbestos ceiling tiles. They didn't help much with insulation as it got up to 85F regularly inside, but yeah. That building is gone now.

Falney : Depending on the application, asbestos is still a fantastic resource. I believe that both the US and British armies respectively still use it

Bob Emmerson : Nice Archive clips from "Jam" Handy. He sounds dammed handy.

Kachow : I've lived and Quebec all my life, and this just goes to show that even if you know a place really well, you can learn something new everyday

Hario338 : You could claim compensation for mesothelioma.

Sam Shelton : Hey wait, I just watched a video on a town called Asbestos in Russia! What a coincidence!

Harry Todhunter : Is this that new song by The Jam?

Luciano Lizana : I really love how that ''O'' in Asbestos is like a happy rainbow

Quietsamurai98 : "So, where are you from?" "Er..."

Alexandre Simoneau : Hey Tom! You where just 50km away from here! Would have love to meet you but I understand you have a tight schedule. Have fun on the West coast!

id104335409 : A lot of people are born under the sign of Cancer. Nobody is changing that....

wolfbd5950 : Just how happy were you that you could use footage from Jam Handy Productions?

hey7328 : asbestos you can get


MaybeGreat : I wonder what the town uses for insulation...

Filip Wieland : I see a Jam Handy production there

Peter Rabitt : Hearing about the kids writing their names in asbestos dust, reminds me of stories my great-grandfather used to tell me about him and the other kids being sprayed from head to toe with the pesticide DDT, to delouse them before the start of the school year.

Ti Dinzeo : I understand their viewpoint and respect it. I do think you're doing yourself a disservice though. You're not 'some idiot who rocks up with a camera to make a video,' you try to do the research and be respectful in every single one of your videos. This one, for example, you tried to ask the people why instead of just saying they didn't change the name, you pointed out the people who didn't even bother to do that much and just laughed at it. Sure it's not a socio-political analysis of the town and why it's still named Asbestos, but it is a summary and gives places where someone who's interested to know more places to find out more. Like all of your videos it's a good starting point that is respectful to the people and the history involved. You give people a brief look into something they may not have known about without your video which might turn out to be the seed of something immensely interesting to them.

Enthused Norseman : On the other hand, the town of Hell in Norway is a really nice place!

Dylan Milne : Asbestos is much maligned but it certainly was a wonder material of it's time. I didn't know it was actually a mined mineral but figured the video would be about a town that was used in the production of it. I'm sure it's probably saved many lives - however much it had terrible effects on breathing it served its purpose to protect people from other dangers - when you look at disasters like Grenfell you can really see the effect that combustible insulation has in helping fire spread more rapidly. The town paid for that name with their own health, I find it strange anybody would laugh at it.

samramdebest : 2012? You not only have to convince people that it is safe to keep the mining. But you also have to do that for there to be customers. Who would buy asbestos until 2012?

G Henrickson : I remember when the tide turned for asbestos (the industry) and regulations started popping up. This was a very good thing. What wasnt good was the industry that grew around asbestos abatement. Although a homeowner could safely remove asbestos with the corrrect technique (many did this for a decade or more) eventually the strictly regulated abatement costs were off the charts. Many folks who discovered asbestos in there homes after 1990 or so simply added another coat of paint and never talked about remodeling again. A great example of just how good intentions can go SO wrong. Yes...it is a very good thing that Asbestos (the material) is mostly gone now...but what were the true costs involved?

miseltoe1 : The gruen factor is hilarous !! Can't believe it made it into a tom scott video

Lu Ki : You sound really out of breath

linkh200 : When doing some asbestos training, the teacher asked "what's the best way for you to remove asbestos? ... Asbestos you can!" That was one of the most entertaining classes I had attended.