Vermont Asbestos Mine Report to Be Updated by State Health Department

Officials from the Vermont Health Department were convinced by public opinion and a Vermont legislature resolution to reexamine the effects a closed asbestos mine had on health of nearby residents According to the residents’ findings, the prior results from the state, which asserted a greater incidence in lung cancer in those living near the mine, were incorrect. The unconfirmed data from the residents did not link any deaths to asbestosis caused by asbestos exposure from the mine. Other studies have shown that those who go on to develop more deadly asbestos-related diseases had asbestosis — a scarring of the lungs — before their cancer diagnosis. The community group conducted their own study on the notion that the lung cancers resulted from those who were exposed to asbestos while working at the Vermont Asbestos Group mine in Eden, Vermont. Their findings did not show a link in residents between asbestosis and lung cancer.

This resulted in the Health Department to reassess their findings, which they agreed to re-release on April 1, 2009. What has been indisputable has been the fact that the site of the chrysotile asbestos mine needed to be cleaned up. Vermont spent $200,000 in 2008 to assess the danger of the mine site, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spent over $2 million to prevent the mine from contaminating a waterway nearby. To properly clean the site of asbestos contamination, Vermont has assessed a $240 million price tag. To pay for a portion of these costs, the state sued the both the current owner and the previous owner of the mine, Vermont Asbestos Group and G-1 Holdings, respectively. The ability of the state to get the needed funds was in doubt as G-1 Holdings had filed for bankruptcy, and Vermont Asbestos Group claimed that it had very little funds available.