Thursday, July 03, 2003

And Speaking of Asbestos....


(From Grist Magazine) For decades, residents of Libby, Mont., had a love affair with mining. They bragged that Zonolite -- the brand-name insulation produced at their hometown mine -- had "a hundred and one uses"; to prove the point, they put it in their garden soil, their Little League ball fields, and even their bread. Then the love affair turned sour; current and former mine workers developed shortness of breath, became tethered to oxygen tanks, and developed rare, excruciating cancers. Worse, their wives, kids, and even some Libby residents with no connection to the mine started to develop similar problems -- all of them bearing the unmistakable symptoms of asbestosis. Still, it took dozens of deaths for Libby residents to admit that "their" company, W.R. Grace, had knowingly allowed mine workers and town residents to be poisoned with tremolite, a particularly nasty form of asbestos. In "Libby, Montana: Asbestos and the Deadly Silence of an American Corporation," journalist Andrea Peacock tells the Libby story; Michelle Nijhuis reviews the results, only on the Grist Magazine website.

Michelle Nijhuis reviews "Libby, Montana: Asbestos and the Deadly Silence of an American Corporation" -- in Books Unbound