Asbestos pushed in Asia as product for the poor

August 12, 2014 4:15 PM

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Asbestos pushed in Asia as product for the poor

VAISHALI, India -- The executives mingled over tea and sugar cookies, and the chatter was upbeat. Their industry, they said at the conference in the Indian capital, saves lives and brings roofs, walls and pipes to some of the world's poorest people.

The industry's wonder product, though, is one whose very name evokes the opposite: asbestos. A largely outlawed scourge to the developed world, it is still going strong in the developing one, and killing tens of thousands of people each year.

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