An updated NIOSH study of asbestos-related diseases among vermiculite miners, millers and processors in Libby, Mt., has been published online by Environmental Health Perspectives, a peer-reviewed research journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIOSH).
The study followed the Libby workers through 2001 and found that they had significantly higher than expected incidences of fatal asbestosis, lung cancer and cancer of the pleura. The findings were consistent with previous mortality studies of workers from this cohort, which were published by NIOSH researchers in the 1980s.
The article is available online atwww.ehponline.org/members/2007/9481/9481.pdf. NIOSH information and recommendations for minimizing the generation and inhalation of dust during the handling of asbestos-contaminated vermiculite from Libby are on the available atwww.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/vermiculite.