Friday, October 03, 2003

Asbestos: The Gift that Keeps On Giving

Federal environmental officials have issued a health alert that could apply to thousands of people exposed directly or indirectly to asbestos from a Beltsville plant that produced insulation material from 1966 to 1993.

The warning covers all who worked at or visited the W.R. Grace/Zonolite Co. site at 12340 Conway Rd. before the plant was closed, as well as everyone they lived with. It is possible that people at or near the plant went home each day with asbestos fibers in their hair and on their clothing, so their families and roommates are also at risk of developing lung diseases, according to the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.