• Conference Proceeding

Vermiculite and asbestos: The Libby, Montana problem


Perkins, R. L., Harvey, B. W., & Beard, M. E. (2000). Vermiculite and asbestos: The Libby, Montana problem. In Proceedings of the Air & Waster Management Association, International Symposium on the Measurement of Toxic and Related Air Pollutants, Research Triangle Park, NC. September 12-14, 2000,.


The properties and commercial uses of vermiculite are reviewed. Adverse health effects associated with worker exposure in asbestos-contaminated vermiculite mines are discussed. A review of the history of the vermiculite mining operations in Libby, Montana is given as well as brief statistics on disease and mortality believed associated with exposure to the ore during mining and processing. A review of analytical methods and monitoring strategies potentially useful for monitoring asbestos in vermiculite and in airborne emissions associated with mining, processing, and use of vermiculite is given. MSHA, OSHA, and EPA regulations related to monitoring and use of asbestos containing materials are reviewed and their relative effectiveness in controlling exposures is discussed.