Asbestos begins its branding detox program by looking for a new name

The town of Asbestos on Monday began the process of rebranding itself. It is seeking a new name to replace that which once represented prosperity, but now is perceived as economically toxic as the mineral it was named after.

The population of the town has until March 13 to offer their suggestions for a new name, online or in person at the town hall or library.

On Nov. 27, the town council kicked off the process after a consideration of the town’s economic future, one that seemed cloudy given that the municipality’s name is synonymous with a mineral sufficiently toxic to be banned in many countries.

The town of 7,000, about 50 kilometres north of Sherbrooke, was named after the mineral at the start of a century that saw it mined locally. A flame retardant once used commonly as a building material, asbestos was later identified as a toxic agent and decades were spent removing it from buildings.

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