ASBEST, Russia – For decades snipers acted on health advocates, Russian persistently asbestos-like asbestos-banned substance-banned as the killer of more than 60 countries-it may have finally found the perfect figure for a deep-frozen image restoration campaign: President Trump.
"Trump is on our side," said Vladimir V. Kochelayev, Uralasbest, one of the few remaining world's asbestos producers, saying that Trump's administration mitigated restrictions on asbestos use.
The United States stopped with asbestos mining in 2002, but the material is still on the world market from a huge hole in the country in the Russian Ural.
The surrounding city, in which almost every family depends on this or the way the substance claims to be a serial killer, is called Asbestos, the Russian word for asbestos.
Canada also has a city called Asbestos, but it has stopped producing things many years ago and started changing the name to something less repulsive. Her Russian twin, in which the locals rarely question the wisdom of mining asbestos with an explosive charge that pushes dense dust clouds saturated with asbestos fibers, sees no reason for such a thing.
Anyway, she was trying to release asbestos associations with lung cancer and other diseases by rebranding her product as "chrysotile", a mild, technical name of a specific mineral species that is mainly a mining.
Chrysotile not only sounds less scary, it's really, said Mr. Kochelayev.
He argued that he was far less dangerous than other forms of "asbestos", a generic trade name used to describe different fiber minerals that have been used around the world in isolation, tile, fireproof clothing and many other products around the world by the 1970s.
"I can not say it's completely safe," said Mr. Kochelayev about the crisis, but "can be used in controlled situations without danger."
After years of observation of a global campaign against all forms of asbestos, which was assembled for the sake of healthcare responsibility, Mr Kochelayeva reacted with cheerfulness last year reports that the Environmental Protection Agency under Mr. Trump relaxed strict restrictions on asbestos use in the United States.
The agency denied that it did, but Uralasbest nevertheless celebrated sending a picture to his Facebook page showing his asbestos pallets with a stamp showing Trumpa's face and words: "Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States."
The photo was a sting for public relations and no one of the asbestos he sold Uralasbest had ever been labeled with Mr. Trump's face. However, the picture has caused wide media attention to a company that previously published its titles only when the asbestos opponents were convicted.
"It was a very successful media operation," said Pavel Kashpurov, the young Uralasbest public relations expert who dreamed of it.
He came up with the idea after E.P.A., under the guidance of Scotta Pruitt, Trump's official, announced the "new use" of asbestos rules that activists condemned as opening up times for greater use of the material. The agency said her intentions were misconstrued.
With Brazil and Canada, who mostly supplied most of the asbestos used in the United States, and now is out of business, Russia sees the opening of its own product – if it can only force Americans to stop worrying about death and listen to its sale. the slope that Russian asbestos, or chrysotile, is really not that bad. After years of decline in production, Uralasbest increased its production of asbestos to 315,000 tonnes last year, of which 80 percent was sold abroad, of 279,200 tons.
But it sold only 67 tonnes to the United States, a market that has almost disappeared due to health problems, but now the treasure grows. 750 tons of asbestos imported last year by the United States has still been close to 803,000 tons consumed in the United States in 1973 before the tide wave of lawsuits and health warnings has done asbestos with the expression of death and financial frustration.
Nobody in Asbestos, 900 miles east of Moscow, does not expect asbestos to be completely rehabilitated with or without Mr. Trump's help.
But rebranding asbestos as a crisis has helped to slow down the collapse of the city's economic backbone and deny the call for a global ban on all forms of asbestos.
Former mayor Andrei Kholzakov, chair of the international trade union association lobbying for asbestos, said hoping for a turnaround in American politics has so far been disappointing. However, he said that Mr. Trump, as an entrepreneur familiar with construction, "understands the reality of asbestos better than other people."
Mr. Trump, before becoming president, did indeed have a long record of asbestos defense as a fireman who in 2012 announced that if it was not replaced by a "garbage that did not work, the World Trade Center would never burn in September 11 attacks 2001. His 1997 book "Art of Return" says asbestos "got a bad voice," arguing that efforts to forcibly remove schools and other buildings were "guided" by the mafia, "and not prompted by health concerns.
Such views agree with Russia's own long-standing view that asbestos producers are the victims of complex conspiracies initiated by greedy, mostly US law-makers who make money for asbestos-related damages and chemical companies producing alternative fire protection materials.
The Asbestos City, after more than 130 years of intensive mining, still has enough chrysotile asbestos buried in the ground to keep Uralasbest in business for at least another century, provided its customers, mainly in Asia and Africa, are in no hurry.
It also has a seemingly unstable reserve of enthusiasm among the residents of the product that, according to the World Health Organization report for 2014, kills more than 107,000 people worldwide every year.
Even local doctors are completely in the program.
Igor Bragin, Chief Medical Officer at Asbestos City Hospital Complex, rejected as a "no match for reality" scientific research from 2016 that showed elevated lung cancer rates. The study, a parallel review of mortality rates in Asbestos and the surrounding Sverdlovska region, showed that "mortality rates for lung, stomach and colon cancer were statistically significantly higher in the Asbestos city." The frequency of mesothelioma, lung disease in the West blamed for asbestos, has not been studied because Russia does not record that illness separately.
Although there are some scientific grounds for claiming that chrysotile, also known as "white asbestos", is less dangerous than "black" and "blue" asbestos, the International Cancer Research Agency says that "there is enough evidence in humans for carcinogenicity. , including chrysotile.
Uralasbest says the disease cases among employees fell sharply as he introduced better air filters into his large processing plant and forced workers to wear better masks. But while praising its improved conditions, the company refused to grant access to the factory, saying it was in the zone limit.
The attitude of many Asbestos residents is that there are many other things to worry about in their highly industrialized region, including a few miles away from a nuclear power plant and even closer to coal-fired power plants, that asbestos is probably the least of their worries.
"Everything is potentially dangerous," said Ksyusha Ustinov, a 30-year-old woman who was dressed in a fur coat with friends last week to peek into a hole six miles long on the periphery of the city where asbestos was mined. "Why take so much worries about asbestos?"
Viktor Stepanov, an 88-year-old pensioner who has worked in the asbestos factory for decades, said his years of advanced and healthy health were proof that all "hysteria" about asbestos can not be true. He explained that while he worked at the asbestos plant, he drank a bottle of milk a day, which the company provided free of charge to help workers defend the disease.
"It's all dangerous to some extent," he said. "What's the point to guarantee that something's not harmful does not exist."