Information and Links for Help
Montana Asbestos Problem
Montanaasbestos.org is a website to help the people of Montana find resources about Asbestos. Lawyers, Doctors, Hospitals, and lots of other helpful information about Asbestos and how to get help.
Asbestos in Montana
The town of Libby, Montana is a small town, with a population of just under three thousand people, of those three thousand residents, approximately one thousand have illnesses that have been attributed to asbestos exposure, and over two hundred have died because of it. Asbestos kills and causes a number of illnesses including Mesothelioma.
The number one export of Libby, Montana was vermiculite. That is until 1990 when the vermiculite mines were closed. It is estimated that Libby provided up to eighty percent of the worlds supply of vermiculite which is used in many applications, from concrete mixtures, to soil additives. The problem with the vermiculite from Libby, Montana is that is was found to have been contaminated with asbestos, and in particular, tremolite, which is a naturally occurring mineral which is a form of asbestos.
Libby Montana is situated in a valley and as a result, has very poor ventilation. When the plants started processing the vermiculite in the mid 1920s, they started noticing a rise in occupational lung cancer within the community who worked in the mines and plants. Because of the ventilation problems within the town, the dust from the mining and processing of the vermiculite hung in the air for the people to breath in daily.
The town residents also used the waste products from the mine to line their driveways and gardens. The people of Libby, and their neighbors in the town of Troy, were surrounded by this contaminate every day of their lives.
In 1999, Senator Max Baucus requested that the United States Department of Health and Human Services aid in the investigation of the extremely high level of Mesothelioma cases and mortality rates associated with asbestos exposure related illnesses. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry also went to Libby, Montana to help find out what was going on. What they found is staggering. Within the years that the departments were investigating, they went as far back as 1979 up to 1998; they discovered that the rate of deaths caused by asbestos exposure was forty to sixty times higher than it what was expected.
Libby, Montana, and the community will be receiving six million dollars to go towards screening, diagnosis, and treatment for asbestos related illnesses and diseases. They will also receive one hundred and twenty five million dollars to help with cleaning up the contaminated areas of their towns. In 2008, the company responsible for the mining, agreed to pay two hundred and fifty million dollars to the Environmental Protection Agency, in order to reimburse them for the clean up measures that have been taken so far. However they have still not claimed responsibility for the illnesses. If you think you have the symptoms of Mesothelioma or any related health concerns please use the links on this website to get help.