LDS Abatement Information for Areas
At peak output, the WR Grace vermiculite mine located in Libby was producing 80% of the world’s vermiculite.Vermiculite contaminated with Libby amphibole asbestos was shipped to nearly 300 processing plants around the country.
The ore was distributed to these sites via railway and trucks which were often uncovered in route, thus creating another potential asbestos exposure pathway along the transportation routes.
Upon delivery, the ore was exfoliated. Exfoliation is a process in which vermiculite ore is heated at high temperatures to expand or “pop” it. These facilities are of particular concern because exfoliation released countless tons of asbestos-laden dust into the surrounding communities, at levels much greater than other processing methods. It is estimated that 30 million homes across America contain “Zonolite” insulation contaminated with Libby Amphibole asbestos.
Of the sites that received contaminated Libby vermiculate, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently working with the 28 most contaminated sites.
For more information on local asbestos programs:
CARD’s long distance screening program is currently available only to those people who were exposed to asbestos while residing, working or recreating in Lincoln County, Montana.