Beginning in the 1930s, the Canadian asbestos industry created and advanced the idea that chrysotile asbestos is safer than asbestos of other fiber types.
We critically evaluate published and unpublished studies funded by the Quebec Asbestos Mining Association (QAMA) and performed by researchers at McGill University.
QAMA-funded researchers put forth several myths purporting that Quebec-mined chrysotile was harmless, and contended that the contamination of chrysotile with oils, tremolite, or crocidolite was the source of occupational health risk. In addition, QAMA-funded researchers manipulated data and used unsound sampling and analysis techniques to back up their contention that chrysotile was "essentially innocuous."
These studies were used to promote the marketing and sales of asbestos, and have had a substantial effect on policy and occupational health litigation. Asbestos manufacturing companies and the Canadian government continue to use them to promote the use of asbestos in Europe and in developing countries. Am. J. Ind. Med. 44:540-557, 2003.