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Lunch Time Talk- Asbestos From Magic Mineral to Deathly Dust

Date(s): 6 May 2024

Time: 1.15pm

Cost: £3

Booking Link:

Asbestos FOH Screen 1

Join Surgeons' Hall Museums Research Fellow Professor Ken Donaldson as he discusses Asbestos in this bite sized talk.

In the early 20th century, asbestos was hailed as a ‘magic mineral’ and was eventually incorporated into thousands of products in homes, cars, ships etc; it was woven into the fabric of buildings and indeed, people’s lives. The fibrous nature of asbestos imbues it with its industrial usefulness, but unfortunately, during its use these tiny fibers can be released into the air and are breathed into the lungs where they cause diseases including cancer.  Although the potential dangers of asbestos were suspected early in the 20th century and were confirmed by the 1960s, asbestos continued to be used and it was not banned until near the end of the 20th century, by which time millions of people had been exposed to it and a global pandemic of disease had ensued.  This talk describes the history of asbestos production, rising awareness of its pathogenic effects, how they are produced and the legacies that asbestos has left us.  

The talk will last approximately 30mins and there will be tea and coffee available for ticket holders.

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