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by: on 24th Jul, 2012
Libby, a mining town close to the Canadian border has to date an estimated 400 people been killed through exposure to asbestos contaminated vermiculite taht had been mined since 1919 with a further 1, 700 falling ill. Eton Environmental would like cases like these to remain in the public eye especially since asbestos illnesses are still being diagnosed more than two decades after the WR. Grace and Co's mine was closed.
The Grace plant was used for three decades to stockpile vermiculite from the mine befroe it was transported by rail to be used in loft insulation across the US. As children, Libby residents who are currently battling asbestos disease, used to play in the plant's pile of vermiculite.
A major cleanup has been overseen since 2000 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) however it still poses a significant risk as the removal of the asbestos containing vermiculite from the soils and other suspect material has remained difficult. To date Libby has had almost a million cubic yards of soil and contaminate material removed.
In 2009, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Linda Jackson issued a public health emergency declaration; the town stil remains under this today. Due to the latency of asbestos-related diseases deaths are expected to continue for decades.