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Fatal Deception: The Untold Story of Asbestos.

Michael Bowker. 2003. Read by John Slattery. Abridged. 4 tapes. 7 hrs. Simon & Schuster Audio. 0-7435-2857-3. $26.00. Cardboard, plastic; content notes. JSA

Libby, Montana is under a death sentence. For years employment in the asbestos mine was the best kind of work in the area, with the most loyal employees. No one told the miners or their families that the asbestos dust they breathed would eventually destroy their lungs and other organs with asbestosis and vicious asbestos-related cancers. Housewives contacted the dust on their husbands' workclothes and children from contaminated playgrounds. Many died from it after suffering long, painful illnesses. Once again W.R. Grace is a culprit, as it was in Woburn, Massachusetts, pretending asbestos fibers can be easily cast off by the human body, withholding vital information from the community, and spreading lethal asbestos byproducts throughout the town.

Although the EPA is well aware of the problem and in 1989 banned all commercial asbestos use, big businesses such as Grace, Johns Manville. Raybestos, and others continue to use asbestos both in domestic products and exports overseas while well aware of its lethal properties. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against them, but the companies weasel out of settlements by declaring bankruptcy on the grounds that they have insufficient cash to handle the claims.

In a well-documented examination of the dangers, the author discusses also the number of products containing asbestos found everywhere in the world, with a special emphasis on the immense asbestos pollution caused by the destruction of the World Trade Center and the careless way in which it was handled. This chilling reminder of corporate greed and disinterest that affects us all is well narrated by Slattery. whose delivery is expressive but not polemical. He lets the facts speak for themselves. His voice is pleasantly pitched and very clear. Pat Dole, Richmond, VA
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Author:Dole, Pat
Article Type:Audiobook Review
Date:May 1, 2003
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