Wiki Actu en

June 20, 2009

EPA declares ’emergency’ asbestos cleanup in Montana town

Filed under: Archived,Asbestos,EPA,Health,Montana,North America,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Related stories

Health
More information on Health at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

For the past ten years, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been overseeing the asbestos clean-up in the small town of Libby, Montana, which has been on the EPA’s Superfund National Priorities List since 2002.

On Wednesday, the Obama administration declared Libby and the immediate area a “public health emergency”. Under this state of emergency the EPA is increasing clean-up assistance and medical care. According to federal prosecutors, asbestos has taken 200 lives and is the root cause of at least 1,000 illnesses in the surrounding area.

Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator of the EPA

“This is a tragic public health situation that has not received the recognition it deserves by the federal government for far too long,” according to EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.

In the 1920’s The Zonolite Company began producing vermiculite, a mineral that is often used in insulation. Between 1963 and 1990, W.R. Grace & Company took over the mine operations. Tremolite asbestos was discovered in the vermiculite product. A study conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry discovered that the incidence of asbestosis in the population of the mine site area is far higher than the national average.

Airborne asbestos exposure can lead to mesothelioma, a cancer which develops in the sac surrounding the lungs and chest cavity, the abdominal cavity, or the sac surrounding the heart. Prolonged exposure can lead to lung scarring, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma generally are left with six months to a year before death.

We will continue to push until Libby has a clean bill of health.

—Senator Max Baucus

The tremolite dust from the mine began leaking into the air from the plant in 1919. This resulted in a hazy asbestos dust cloud covering lawns, cars, clothing, and school athletic fields, creating an issue that citizens of Libby had to deal with on an everyday basis. The large amount of dust gave the impression of the aftereffects of a light sandstorm.

W. R. Grace and Company did not deny that asbestos was found contaminating the vermiculite in the old mine. They said they proceeded in a responsible manner to clean up contamination following the mine closure. Grace will reimburse the EPA for US$250 million of the US$333 million that the EPA and the Department of Health and Human Services has set aside for medical expenses and asbestos clean-up. This money will be invested over the next five years, and does not include the millions in medical costs already footed by the company for residents of Libby and the nearby town of Troy.

“Today is the day that after years of work we were able to succeed in getting this [emergency declaration] done,” Senator from Montana Max Baucus said, speaking at the EPA press conference. “We will continue to push until Libby has a clean bill of health.”


Sources



This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

EPA declares \’emergency\’ asbestos cleanup in Montana town

Filed under: Archived,Asbestos,EPA,Health,Montana,North America,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

EPA declares ’emergency’ asbestos cleanup in Montana town

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Health
Related articles
  • 6 June 2015: Major haemorrhage linked to alcoholism announced as cause of Charles Kennedy’s death
  • 2 June 2015: Beau Biden, son of US vice president, dies at 46
  • 1 June 2015: Kerry hospitalized after cycling accident
  • 8 May 2015: Teen accused of Anzac Day terror plot applies for bail
  • 8 May 2015: Indiana Governor signs needle exchange program

Health
Collaborate!
  • Pillars of Wikinews writing
  • Writing an article

For the past ten years, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been overseeing the asbestos clean-up in the small town of Libby, Montana, which has been on the EPA’s Superfund National Priorities List since 2002.

On Wednesday, the Obama administration declared Libby and the immediate area a “public health emergency”. Under this state of emergency the EPA is increasing clean-up assistance and medical care. According to federal prosecutors, asbestos has taken 200 lives and is the root cause of at least 1,000 illnesses in the surrounding area.

Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator of the EPA

“This is a tragic public health situation that has not received the recognition it deserves by the federal government for far too long,” according to EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.

In the 1920’s The Zonolite Company began producing vermiculite, a mineral that is often used in insulation. Between 1963 and 1990, W.R. Grace & Company took over the mine operations. Tremolite asbestos was discovered in the vermiculite product. A study conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry discovered that the incidence of asbestosis in the population of the mine site area is far higher than the national average.

Airborne asbestos exposure can lead to mesothelioma, a cancer which develops in the sac surrounding the lungs and chest cavity, the abdominal cavity, or the sac surrounding the heart. Prolonged exposure can lead to lung scarring, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma generally are left with six months to a year before death.

Cquote1.svg We will continue to push until Libby has a clean bill of health. Cquote2.svg

—Senator Max Baucus

The tremolite dust from the mine began leaking into the air from the plant in 1919. This resulted in a hazy asbestos dust cloud covering lawns, cars, clothing, and school athletic fields, creating an issue that citizens of Libby had to deal with on an everyday basis. The large amount of dust gave the impression of the aftereffects of a light sandstorm.

W. R. Grace and Company did not deny that asbestos was found contaminating the vermiculite in the old mine. They said they proceeded in a responsible manner to clean up contamination following the mine closure. Grace will reimburse the EPA for US$250 million of the US$333 million that the EPA and the Department of Health and Human Services has set aside for medical expenses and asbestos clean-up. This money will be invested over the next five years, and does not include the millions in medical costs already footed by the company for residents of Libby and the nearby town of Troy.

“Today is the day that after years of work we were able to succeed in getting this [emergency declaration] done,” Senator from Montana Max Baucus said, speaking at the EPA press conference. “We will continue to push until Libby has a clean bill of health.”



Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

April 9, 2005

Bush EPA nominee abandons insecticide-on-children study after Senate hearing

Bush EPA nominee abandons insecticide-on-children study after Senate hearing

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Saturday, April 9, 2005

EPA logo

EPA’s map of participating family health clinics where babies and toddlers would be accepted for participation

Following a Senate hearing in which the Bush administration’s nominee for EPA administrator, Stephen Johnson, stoutly defended his plan to pay parents to document the effects on infants of insecticide use in the home, he reversed course and stopped the program.

Among the original requirements for the 60 families requested to be participants in the “Children’s Health Environmental Exposure Research Study” (CHEERS) study according to EPA were that they must:

  • Live in Duval County, Florida
  • Be a parent of a child under the age of 13 months
  • Spray or apply or have pesticides sprayed or applied inside your home on a routine basis (You do not need to change your regular household routine for the study.)

This original version of the requirements can be viewed in the Internet Archive, a free online repository that creates copies of websites on a regular basis. The third requirement was reworded by November 2004, according to the Internet Archive: “Maintain your normal pesticide or non-pesticide use patterns for your household. We will not ask any parent to apply pesticides in their home to be a part of this study.”

According to the above document, the area of Jacksonville/Duval County was chosen for reasons of existing year-round high usage of pesticides and other household chemicals within the home, as well as relevant data from existing prior studies. The study involved researchers visiting the home of participants, parents videotaping their children’s activities with a supplied camcorder, children wearing a small “activity sensor”, and parents collecting food and urine samples for detailed analysis of the effects of chemical exposure to common commercially available chemicals, primarily pesticides, on which “current information… is very limited” [1].

Selection for the study began in fall 2004. As incentives for their participation in the planned two-year study, parents were to be given $970, a t-shirt, and other gifts, and would have kept the video camera at its conclusion.

Senate opposition

Complaining that the study was necessary, Johnson yielded to two Democratic Senators who had threatened to block him, using all means available, from officially taking the helm of the Environmental Protection Agency, of which he is the acting head. The block on his nomination was lifted afterwards although some Democratic Senators would not say how they would vote on the final nomination.

Under his guidance, the EPA agreed to accept $2 million for the controversial $9 million CHEERS study from an industry trade group, the American Chemistry Council, which represents the chemical insecticide manufacturers. The study was to be conducted with the cooperation of the Duval County Health Department, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based in Atlanta.

Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Bill Nelson, (D-FLA), demanded the cancellation of the study as proof of Johnson’s acknowledgement of what she called a “gross error in judgment”.

“The CHEERS program was a reprehensible idea that never should have made it out of the boardroom, and I am just happy that it was stopped before any children were put in harms way,” Boxer said. She added that testing on humans should not be a part of any United States environmental policy.

“I am very pleased that Mr. Johnson has recognized the gross error in judgment the EPA made when they concocted this immoral program to test pesticides on children,” Boxer said.

EPA review

Work on the study was halted last November by Johnson while an independent review of the study’s design was conducted at his request. Part of the reason for the study’s current cancellation was what the EPA in its press release has termed “mischaracterization” of the nature of the study as though children were being deliberately sprayed with pesticides.

Johnson defended his approach, “I have concluded that the study cannot go forward, regardless of the outcome of the independent review. EPA must conduct quality, credible research in an atmosphere absent of gross misrepresentation and controversy. I am committed to ensuring that EPA’s research is based on sound science with the highest ethical standards.”

In November 2004, William Farland, an administrator with the EPA’s research department, told The Oregonian, “There’s no suggestion that we are asking them to use pesticides. We simply want them to continue to carry out their day-to-day activities.”

Sources

External links


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Powered by WordPress