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As a result of prolonged exposure to asbestos snow, some famous Hollywood actors have died after developing the asbestos related lung disease, mesothelioma.
Perhaps the most famous of these actors is Steve McQueen.
He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 1979 and died in 1980.
Up until the late 1920’s, film makers were known to use various methods to try and create the illusion of snow.
These methods included cotton batting, salt and flour.
But cotton was soon recognised as being a fire risk, and the LA fire department instead recommended the use of asbestos, which was considered to be risk free.
So from the 1930’s until the 1950’s, film studios used white asbestos in the form of fake snow brands such as ‘White Magic’, ‘Snow Drift’ and ‘Pure White’.
The film ‘The Wizard of Oz’ is probably the most famous film where asbestos was used.
The fake snow used in the film was actually chrysotile, also known as white asbestos.
Chrysotile was also used in the film starring Bing Crosby, ‘White Christmas’, in the famous snow scene at the end of the film.
Fortunately, by the end of the 1950’s, asbestos was no longer used to create fake snow.
An alternative method was used in the form of a sprayable foam, with ingredients that consisted of foamite, water, sugar and soap.