EPA releases draft estimates of asbestos toxicity in Libby, Troy

Quoted from http://www.clarkforkchronicle.com/article.php/20110505010758563

EPA releases draft estimates of asbestos toxicity in Libby, Troy

Thursday, May 05 2011 @ 01:07 AM MDT



New information is key step in helping finalize cleanup plans that protect the health of the community

by Richard Mylott

At a public meeting at the Libby Memorial Center Tuesday evening, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented new draft toxicity estimates on the specific type of asbestos in Libby and Troy, Montana. These toxicity estimates, when final, will help secure the best path forward for asbestos cleanup and protection of public health at the Libby Superfund site. The Agency is releasing this draft information earlier than usual in the scientific evaluation process to be more transparent and to more fully engage the community in the review process. The data are preliminary and could change until this review process is complete, which will include review by independent scientists.

Through this action Tuesday, EPA is delivering on a promise made to the community to develop a scientific analysis of Libby Amphibole asbestos. Based on requests from the community, the final toxicity estimates for Libby Amphibole asbestos will be used to develop EPA’s final risk assessment and cleanup decisions. EPA will use these toxicity estimates to evaluate risks to adults, teens and children who may be exposed to Libby Amphibole during activities such as housework, playing in the yard or at school, walking, bicycling or working in an office or outside.

Although EPA has made significant progress in helping to remove the threat of asbestos in the land and air, and with it, the increased risks of lung cancer and other respiratory problems, actual and potential releases of amphibole asbestos remain a concern in Libby. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson in 2009 declared a public health emergency in Libby, a first-of-its-kind action that recognized serious impacts to public health.

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