Asbestos…still an issue
On June 17 of last year the federal government declared a public health emergency in Libby, Montana. The reason for the declaration was the asbestos exposure and contamination caused by the asbestos mine that began operations in 1919 near the small town.
The declaration assures that there will be cleanup funds and money available for medical screening and treatment for area residents. In February of last year the federal government put the now bankrupt owners of the mine on trail, but jurors later acquitted the company and its executives.
The mine produced vermiculite, which was contaminated with asbestos. In the past vermiculite was often used for insulation and fireproofing, along with a host of other applications. Dust from the mine would be carried by the wind to Libby and tailings from the facility were sometimes used as fill for playgrounds, gardens and driveways.
Even though the mine has been closed since 1990, its legacy for area residents continues. Residents going about their daily lives can be exposed to asbestos fibers that become aerosolized and are then inhaled. Cancers associated with asbestos exposure can take up to decades to appear and according to some reports Libby has had over 200 deaths and 1,000 illnesses due to the exposure in the small town.
LA Testing, an affiliate of EMSL Analytical and a leading source of asbestos testing services, provides testing solutions to protect people and the environment from asbestos exposure. “The situation in Libby shows how the lingering effects of asbestos have not gone away,” reported Ben Sublasky, National Director of Client Services for LA Testing and EMSL Analytical. “To ensure public safety it’s important that people recognize the need to test suspect material, in any part of the country, which may contain asbestos since it was such a commonly used material in many products in the past.”
To learn more about asbestos or other environmental testing services please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.
LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.