Property owners with Zonolite Attic Insulation in their homes or businesses have until October 31st to file claims against the manufacturer, W.R. Grace and Co., in order to be able to collect removal compensation. Zonolite is easily spotted by its gray-gold color and granular texture. Since it contains asbestos pieces embedded in it, it poses a danger to those who might be exposed. Asbestos exposure leads to deadly diseases in humans such as the rapidly fatal cancer mesothelioma . Proper removal and disposal of asbestos-containing products must be done by a licensed professional, and while to take out the Zonolite the cost is only $5 to $12 per square foot, that does not cover the cost of detoxifying the entire house if asbestos-containing dust was distributed throughout the building via the air ventilation system. This secondary procedure can cost the property owner thousands of dollars. The type of asbestos in the Zonolite Attic Insulation is many times more toxic than other forms of asbestos.
This makes the W.R. Grace and Co. product especially dangerous. The company even created asbestos warning labels to be attached to their Zonolite products in the 1970s, but they were never released. A rash of lung diseases in the area of Montana near the W.R. Grace mine has also pointed to the toxic nature of their products. A Washington State class action lawsuit had been filed in 2000, but proceedings were halted after the manufacturer, W.R. Grace and Co., filed for bankruptcy in 2001 in the state of Delaware. The bankruptcy judge has not ruled on whether or not the lawsuit against the company can continue through the courts. A deadline of October 31st has been set by the judge, and all claimants will need to have filed to be listed on the lawsuit by then.