When BJ Penn tried to claim that asbestos being harmful is a hoax, Joe Rogan set him straight

During an appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast a while ago, former UFC champion BJ Penn made some concerning comments suggesting that the well-established dangers of asbestos exposure may be overblown or even a “hoax.” Fortunately, Rogan was quick to push back and correct the misinformation.

The troubling exchange began when Penn reminisced about playing with asbestos as a child, saying “We’ve cleaned it up thousands of times, put it in trash bags…that white stuff…I haven’t heard of anybody with asbestos. I mean, I could be wrong. I just don’t know who it is.”

Penn’s comments displayed a startling lack of awareness about the proven carcinogenic effects of asbestos, which has been directly linked to diseases like mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. Exposure to asbestos fibers is estimated to cause tens of thousands of deaths per year in the United States alone.

Rather than allowing Penn’s dangerous misinformation to go unchallenged, Rogan quickly interjected, stating “Yeah, it’s very, very cancer causing for sure…People got cancer from it for sure.”

Rogan went on to note past public health hazards like lead-based paints to illustrate that toxic materials once thought harmless were eventually recognized as threats and properly regulated.

Health experts have lauded Rogan for pushing back against Penn’s asbestos claims, which could have emboldened conspiracy theorists and sowed further doubts about the risks of asbestos exposure.

This outburst from Penn is one of many. Penn has previously claimed that Mother Theresa was in the CIA, denied the existence of dinosaurs, evolution, and aliens, asserted that he was being spied on by political opponents and his girlfriend, and dismissed CTE as fake.