HHS Study on Asbestos Exposure in Libby, Montana
Read the June 2008 press release from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding a study to examine the health effects of Libby, Montana residents exposed to asbestos.
Federal Agencies to Launch $8M Effort to Study Libby, Montana Asbestos Exposure
Five-year project will examine health effects of exposure to Libby amphibole asbestos
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the Libby Amphibole Health Risk Initiative, a series of projects totaling $8 million designed to understand the health effects of exposure to lower levels of Libby, Montana asbestos (i.e., Libby amphibole).
“My interest in Libby dates to the first of my visits with the people of that community with Senator Max Baucus, who deserves credit for his tireless and passionate work on behalf of that community,” HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said. “Too little is currently known about exposure to lower levels of Libby asbestos. We hope this effort will expand our knowledge of potential and real health issues that could be facing this group of individuals.”
The 5-year initiative, to be funded by HHS’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the EPA, will focus on determining whether exposure to lower levels of Libby asbestos is associated with increased risk of lung disease, cancer, chronic illnesses, auto-immune diseases or other adverse health outcomes. It is currently known that long-term exposure to high levels of asbestos is associated with lung cancer, serious lung disease and upper respiratory health conditions
“Since 1999, EPA has been working closely with the community of Libby to clean up contamination and reduce risks to human health,” EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson said. “In collaboration with HHS, EPA will continue to help protect the health and well-being of the Libby residents.”
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