The article compares the case of the Eternit cement-asbestos factory in Casale Monferrato to that of the Fibronit factory in Broni. The two towns were assailed by the drama of asbestos contamination, which will continue to affect workers and local inhabitants for a long time to come. In Casale, the memory of the factory and its consequences on the health of the inhabitants has taken the form of a concrete awareness, so much so that Casale has become an emblematic town on both national and international levels. However, the same cannot be said for Broni: here there has been a radical repression of the problem. This paper will demonstrate how tensions within the community open up a range of citizens’ viewpoints, which span from a hyper-visualization of the problem - the factory as an omnipresent cause of all the evils of the city - to its complete removal from the urban horizon, making any kind of intervention on public authorities extremely difficult.
Keywords: Asbestos, memory, environmental history, industrial disasters.