The Canadian town of Asbestos is trying to shed its toxic association and rebrand itself after city officials said the name, linked to the once-popular building insulation material has cost the city outside investments.
The Quebec town, population 7,000, announced on Wednesday that it will change its name because it does not have a “good connotation.”
Officials in Asbestos, Quebec, said the city will change it name to distance itself from the toxic building insulating material. (iStock)
“There is really a negative perception around asbestos,” Mayor Hugues Grimard told the CBC. “We have lost businesses that don’t want to establish themselves here because of the name.”
The town thrived for decades on asbestos mining and product manufacturing and its asbestos mine was once the single-largest source of the product in the world. Asbestos was once the main go-to material for insulating buildings.
The product is now banned in most construction around the world. Inhaling it can cause server lung damage and cancer. Canada banned the substance last year.
The new name will be announced next year, the city said.
“As citizens are the ambassadors of a municipality and are the representatives of its vitality, it was obvious that the public would be involved in the process and the choice of the new name,” Grimard said.