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EPA Looks Into Extent of Montana Asbestos Crisis

Date: June 20, 2002

Source: News Room

Federal health officials are trying to determine whether ore mined in Montana and shipped across the country may have spread potentially fatal asbestos. The western Montana town of Libby, which for decades was the world's largest supplier of vermiculite ore, has been at the center of what lawmakers and federal officials describe as a public health crisis. Now, officials are concerned that the problem has spread to other towns where the vermiculite was taken to be processed into soil conditioner and home insulation. The Environmental Protection Agency has identified 240 sites in 40 states where the vermiculite was shipped from Libby. At least 22 of those sites require some kind of EPA-overseen cleanup.

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