Health Library

Published: January 2012

The Traveling Libby Legacy: Minnesota Community Exhibits Nonoccupational Health Impacts Consistent with Asbestos Damage

Published By: Environmental Health Perspectives

Contributors: Tanya Tillett


Adverse health effects of asbestos have been documented worldwide for the better part of the last half-century, with a large number of studies focused on occupational exposures received during the mining and processing of vermiculite ore. A new study reports on nonoccupational health effects resulting from community exposures to Libby vermiculite ore processed at the Western Minerals/W.R. Grace (WM/WRG) facility in Minneapolis, Minnesota [EHP 120(1):44–49; Alexander et al.].

The WM/WRG plant is located in a residential neighborhood that includes a mix of single- and multifamily homes as well as schools and churches. During its years of operation from 1938 to 1989, residents were allowed to haul away waste rock for use in their yards, and children played on piles of waste rock outside the plant.

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