Does Your Attic Insulation Contain Deadly Asbestos ?
Danger in the Attic: Asbestos in attic insulation is making people sick.
In the small town of Libby, Mont. where the air is clean and the streams are clear, something strange is going on. Toxic material has been found all over town - in homes, under a school playground and even on the old Little League ballfields.
The toxic material is asbestos. A recent study showed as many as 3 in 10 people in this community already show signs of lung disease and more than 100 have died.
"I've never seen this kind of inpact, this many people sick," said Paul Peronard who is with the
Environmental Protection Agency. " And there's really no question about the cause of the illness."
Asbestos is contained in a mineral ore called vermiculite that was mined by the W.R. Grace Co.
in Libby for decades untill 1990.
For decades, tons of the contaminated ore were shipped along rail lines across the country, and used as home insulation. "The estimates I've seen anywhere from 800.000 to 15 million homes across the country have this insulation in there," Peronard said.
It's loose insulation, poured in cracks and crevices, and it was sold nationwide until the late 1980's
As soon as the insulation is disturbed, asbestos fibers become airborne. the tiny fibers, shaped like needles, are easily inhaled into the lungs where they damage tissue and produce scarring.
Edward harashe, a St. Louis plumber used it to insulate his attic. He was exposed for just two days
Thirty years later his doctor told him he had a rare lung cancer associated with asbestos.
In 1991, Harashe sued W.R. Grace and one a jury verdict of $2.5 million dollars. He died less than 2 years later. Today, W.R. Grace said in a statement, the insulation contains only "miniscule"
amounts of asbestos and it "was safe when it was sold and is safe in place today." Lawyer Jan
Schlichtmann has a different view. "Perhaps today a child is playing in this material or someone is remodling their home, totally unaware that the material they are stiring up could ruin their life.
Schlichtmann is suing W.R. Grace on behalf of homeonwers around the country and it's not his first encounter with the company. His earlier case is documented in the 1998 movie "A civil action" in which Schlictmann was portrayed by John Travolta. In that case back in the 1980's,
Schlictmann established in court that W.R Grace had dumped toxic chemicals in the town of Woburn, Mass., Which he said led to the deaths of several children from leukemia.
He won a settlement for his clients, but the case bankrupted him and left him beaten down by Grace's army of corporate lawyers. He said he has seen the company not learning from it's mistakes and he sees again in Libby, how Grace's mistakes can destroy people's lives.
"Libby is really a warning that exposure to this material can cause serius injury," and that he said.
Schlictmann wants W.R. Grace to pay the cost of removing the asbestos-tainted insulation-about $5,000 per home. "They can do it, they should do it," he said. "The question hanging over them is will they do it-and when they will do it." Time may be running out for some people like Gayla Benefield. She's recently been diagnosted with lung problems as has her husband, David, her sister, Eva, and more than a dozen members of her family."
"There are so many more," she said. "Their finding more and more every day."
Riteway services: will come to your home and collect samples of your attic insulation, send it to a State Certified laboratory for testing and notify you of the results.
( the test results are strictly confidential and for your information only )
Call Riteway services ( 954 ) 492 - 9725