Libby, Montana is one of the country’s sites most contaminated with asbestos. Recently the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted indoor and outdoor cleanups to help remedy the situation and make Libby a safer place to live.
Despite the major efforts, the EPA has reported that asbestos will remain in Libby. Walls of houses, under the ground, and other areas will continue to harbor the hazardous substance. Some residents are worried about exposure during future excavation work, home renovations and accidents such as fires.
The asbestos in Libby originally came from the now-closed W.R. Grace and Co. vermiculite mine. Workers and town residents have been known to develop serious and fatal diseases following exposure.
Although more than one million cubic yards of dirt and asbestos-contaminated building materials have been removed from Libby properties, the EPA never fully documented how many residential and commercial structures were left within walls after the cleanup was completed.
The remaining asbestos leaves residents at risk for asbestos-related diseases, like asbestosis and mesothelioma. If you live in Libby, you should alert a medical professional to the possibility of an asbestos-related disease diagnosis in your lifetime.