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Asbestos exposure causes hundreds of deaths in small town

Criticism of the Environmental Protection Agency resulted in a delay in an important study on the risks of asbestos exposure. W.R. Grace & Company believes that the threshold where asbestos exposure poses a hazard to humans that was set by the EPA is too low. However, asbestos exposure from a W.R. Grace mine may have led to hundreds of deaths and even more injuries. Families of victims in Ohio may already be familiar with the impact that this can have on a community.

From 1963 to 1990, W.R. Grace ran a mine that exposed several thousand homes in another state to asbestos. The dust settled in the area, putting residents and mine workers at risk. So far, over 2,000 homes and multiple other properties have had to be cleaned up by the EPA in order to prevent further exposure.

In total, it is believed that 2,000 people were injured and another 400 were killed because of asbestos exposure from the mine. In order to determine what further danger there may be to residents, the EPA used lung scarring as well as cancer deaths for the determination. Unfortunately, their study found that even minimal exposure can lead to serious complications for victims. The EPA still hasn't finished cleanup of the mining town, and it's estimated that it may not be completed for another five years. 

Asbestos exposure is no walk in the park, and the low threshold that the EPA set is likely in an effort to keep people as safe as possible. However, those who were exposed to asbestos in the past can still experience a sudden onset of symptoms. It's understandable that Ohio victims may feel confused about what their next step should be when it's been years since exposure, but compensation is still possible. In some instances a claim may be filed against a former employer, while in others, a company that ran a mine or plant -- such as W.R. Grace -- may be held liable.

Source: ABC News, "Feds Say Cleanup of Montana Mining Town Working", Matthew Brown, Dec. 8, 2014

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