Continuing the discussion from Defensive gun ownership is a farce:
Well, that has happened, so we know the answer. We know the outcome, too, and you’re not going to like it at all. (but see postscript!**)
Auto mechanics are a high risk group for malignant mesothelioma. The auto industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to keep you from finding out that you are killing your mechanic by having him work on your brakes, and to overturn or prevent effective legislation of the asbestos in brakes and clutches.
In 1989 the EPA passed the Asbestos Ban and Phase Out Rule, which halfheartedly attempted to minimize the damage to corporate profits involved in controlling occupational mesothelioma. The rule was subsequently overturned in the case of Corrosion Proof Fittings v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1991. This nightmarish, Reagan era ruling began the modern tradition of requiring absurd, unattainable levels of evidence before permitting clearly dangerous products or practices to be legally controlled (tobacconists and polluters, do your happy dance).
If you care about people who live next to roads, if you care about your mechanic, you should go out of your way to use only non-asbestos brake linings and clutch plates.
But most people don’t know about that, so they buy the cheaper parts, and thus reward the giant industries that will cheerfully kill their own workmen and customers for quarterly profits.
(Topic was forked from Defensive gun ownership is a farce)
**Postcript: I originally built this post based on a collection of links to websites and research papers that I found while googling brake dust mesothelioma. I started by searching for a paper that I read many years ago that strongly correlated one’s chance of contracting mesothelioma with how close one lived to an old and busy intersection, where brake dust is found in layers. I never found that paper, but I found lots of other data, and I built the text around those links. Unfortunately I somehow mangled the post, putting @funruly’s links in place of my own (I’m going to blame the forum software but it was probably my own fault) and I’ve lost the original links. So now they are less pertinent to the linking text But, to quote Dr. Farnsworth, GOOD NEWS EVERYONE! In my second round of googling I see that significant progress has been made towards legally recognizing the undeniable link between brake dust exposure and mesothelioma. We’re still not going to stop killing people with it, but at least their heirs are more likely to receive a pittance from the companies that are profiteering from these deaths.