No theory forbids me to say "Ah!" or "Ugh!", but it forbids me the bogus theorization of my "Ah!" and "Ugh!" - the value judgments. - Theodor Julius Geiger (1960)

The Environmental Sociology of Asbestos

Initially prized for its insulation properties, asbestos became widespread during the Industrial Revolution. Despite early evidence of its health risks, the asbestos industry, aided by complicit scientists, insurers, and governments, covered up these dangers for decades. Efforts to regulate and ban asbestos faced significant industry resistance.

Today, although recognized as hazardous and banned in many places, asbestos still poses risks, especially in low-income and developing countries where it remains in use due to cost and lack of regulation. Developing nations particularly in Asia, Africa, and Latin America still rely on asbestos as a cheap building material, resulting in toxic environments with insufficient occupational health and safety systems paired with technological challenges in early detection of asbestos-related cancer.

“Historical systems that sidelined safety for profit continue to keep asbestos and its hazards in circulation.”

An insightful and sobering article by Emily Qian titled "The Environmental Sociology of Asbestos."