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Asbestos News

Libby, Montana, undergoes asbestos testing
As the deadliest Superfund site in the history of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Libby, Montana, and the surrounding area are still undergoing vigorous testing for asbestos.

The tests have revealed varying levels of amphibole asbestos in the soil, tree bark and water in the area near the old W.R. Grace vermiculite mine, which was responsible for unearthing the asbestos that has killed an estimated 400 residents of the region through such diseases as malignant mesothelioma and asbestosis, according to the Western News.

The area near the mine and the surrounding U.S. Forest Service land is referred to by the EPA as Operable Unit 3 (OU3), and scientists are currently working to assign toxicity levels to the test samples.

"For OU3, we intend to wait for the new toxicity information from the Libby Action Plan work, and so I'm asking for your patience," Bonnie Lavelle, the EPA's remedial project manager for OU3, said at a public informational meeting. ?We'll be generating numbers like this but I won?t be able to tell you what they mean in terms of exposure and human health risks until we do that risk assessment."

Libby, Montana, is perhaps the clearest example in the U.S. of the deadly impact extensive asbestos exposure can have on a community.ADNFCR-3360-ID-19859826-ADNFCR
6/25/10

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