The IK Global iMessenger
Northern Hemisphere Fall 2023 | Southern Hemisphere Spring 2023 | Issue No: 11

Hi there!

It is sometimes easy to forget that everything has a background or a story. In the modern world, where “news” often has a short shelf life until the next following “Breaking News” is sent out locally and globally with lightning speed – it may be hard to maintain a perspective!

The use of asbestos has a history stretching back thousands of years. Still, on most occasions, the mineral can be linked to purposes other than textile fibres. Or was there already in the 18th-century suspicion of the health hazards with asbestos, and people avoided too close contact with the material, particularly for clothing or other personal objects? | Fibrous tremolite asbestos on muscovite. | CREDIT: The Natural History Museum, London. Public Domain.

All of us who share this planet need somewhere to live, food, and clothes, to name some of the most elementary necessities. That has always been the case, and it will not change as long as humanity exists! For generations, man has tried to find solutions to improve everyday life, his own and others.

Even the most elementary aspects of our survival affect nature and our health – it is a tricky balancing act that every human being must take responsibility in both the small and the large perspectives. Of course, it does not get easier with more people who live on this planet, even if new technology and knowledge give us other opportunities to plan better.

Yes, it is tricky, as has been said before, but perhaps today’s often heated debate would benefit from seeing the reality more from a historical perspective where human’s unfailing willingness to develop thoughts and things has brought us to where we stand today – for better or worse!

A small but thoughtful and unique statement is given in the essay “POLLUTION AND HEALTH – Textile Observations by 18th-century Naturalists” written by textile historian Viveka Hansen, who says the following about this work:

"This essay looks closer at such observations by Carl Linnaeus, his apostles and other naturalists in their network – in Sweden, England, the North American colonies and Japan. However, judging by the researched travel journals, etc., originating in the naturalists’ observations in more than 50 countries, it may still be regarded as unusual to mention air pollution or the risks of mineral extractions in any form."




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