EHTV Episode 09: A Town Called Asbestos Part IV

Asbestos worker in Johns-Manville Factory in Quebec, 1944. Source: Library and Archives Canada, WRM 4713

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The fourth part in Dr. Jessica Van Horssen’s mini-series on the history of asbestos mining in Quebec investigates the decades after the Second World War when global awareness of the adverse health effects of asbestos led to import bans and ultimately the decline of the industry. As medical science unequivocally linked a variety of cancers and lung diseases to inhalation of and exposure to asbestos fibers, the industry suffered. By the 1970s, Quebec asbestos miners, asbestos corporations, and the federal government stood alone as defenders of the fireproof mineral.

Viewers should also visit the website for Asbestos, QC: The Graphic Novel to further explore Dr. Van Horssen’s work on this topic.

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Sean Kheraj

Associate Professor and Vice-Provost Academic at Toronto Metropolitan University
Sean Kheraj is a member of the executive committee of the Network in Canadian History and Environment. He's an associate professor in the Department of History and Vice-Provost Academic at Toronto Metropolitan University. His research and teaching focuses on environmental and Canadian history. He is also the host and producer of Nature's Past, NiCHE's audio podcast series and he blogs at

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