Mesothelioma Continues Its Reign in Montana

The state of Montana has many wonderful things to recommend it, but despite its beauty and wide-open spaces, it also lives in the shadow of asbestos-related diseases like malignant mesothelioma. Though it has been decades since the W. R. Grace & Co. vermiculite mine stopped spewing asbestos into the air and the environment, people continue to be diagnosed with the life-threatening diseases caused by their exposure.

Montana Medical Clinic Sees New Patients Every Day

Though most Americans assume that asbestos exposure is a thing of the past, the carcinogenic material’s impact is made clear with each new mesothelioma diagnosis. For those living in the Libby, Montana area, those diagnoses are made at the Center for Asbestos Related Disease (CARD), a state-of-the-art screening center strategically located in the midst of some of the worst asbestos contamination in the country’s history.

Libby, Montana was the site of the notorious W.R. Grace & Company vermiculite mine that has been named as the cause of mesothelioma in the immediate area as well as throughout the nation. Its asbestos-contaminated vermiculite was converted into insulation marketed as Zonolite and installed in homes and other structures in nearly every state.  

CARD Physicians Work to Educate the Public About Mesothelioma and Asbestos

In addition to working directly with patients suffering from asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma, the physicians at CARD are at the forefront of educating the public about the dangers of asbestos. According to medical director Dr. Brad Black, “It’s a long-term issue. Many people forget that diseases caused by asbestos may not show up for over 40 years and don’t understand the lag time between long-ago exposure and disease today. It’s something you always have to be aware of.”

Despite the obvious dangers posed by asbestos and it having been banned by almost 70 other countries around the world, it continues to be used in the United States. Products are legally able to contain up to one percent of the carcinogen. Additional dangers arise from the many buildings that still have asbestos-contaminated insulation within their walls.

If you have been exposed to asbestos, you could be at risk for malignant mesothelioma. For information on the disease, contact the Patient Advocates at at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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