EPA is offering soil and air tests for asbestos in Northwest Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota (JusticeNewsFlash.com – News Report) – Factories all across the United States emit harmful pollutants and toxic chemical that contaminate the surrounding areas. One famous for this was the Western Mineral Products Inc., now the W.R. Grace Company. During the years of 1938 to 1989, the factory processed vermiculite ore into home insulation. Over the course of the next decade, the factory distributed asbestos-laced waste for homeowners to use as fill in driveways, yards and gardens.

Only recently did EPA officials discover that this was the case. The company had some cleaning up to do – to put it lightly. With combined efforts from the EPA, they removed contaminated soil over the span of 268 yards between 2000 and 2004. Though met with some success, the EPA has announced that they will conduct tests concerning the air and dust in 30 to 50 of those homes to be sure there is no asbestos inside. Homes will be tested this month at no cost to owners and only with their permission. It consists of running one small device for about 12 hours that vacuums air and collects microscopic particles on a filter, and a second “wipe test” that collects dust from a relatively unused area of the home to see whether it contains asbestos. Homeowners will receive the results in about four months.

But this process will not be cheap, EPA has estimated that the analysis will cost about $200,000, and may be expanded if the results show any contamination, and if found, Western Mineral Products will be held accountable and expected to pay. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2001 due to more than 135,000 asbestos-related lawsuits. In previous years, around 6,700 people were surveyed and the results found 690 individuals who had had contact with the contaminated piles of waste from the plant, and 820 who lived within one block of the plant at one time or another. The company, city and health officials and the EPA must ensure that they are giving their best attempt to help rid the area of the contamination and guarantee that no other citizens are affected.

JusticeNewsFlash.com – Asbestos News Distribution

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About the Author Legal Reporter

Jana Simard is a contributing writer for Justice News Flash with degrees in Political Science and Spanish. Born in Canada, but raised in sunny south Florida, Jana had an early passion for writing. During her high school and college years she interned at a Florida Congressman's office as well as a Rhode Island Governor and Senator's office. While in her last two years of college, Jana spent six months in Salamanca, Spain where she truly discovered her passion for writing and had her articles published in her school's newspaper. Her experience in two Providence high profile law firms has equipped her with the ability to write for Justice News Flash as a Legal Reporter.