The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast. These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or firstname.lastname@example.org) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need. Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.
These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or email@example.com) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.
Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
Search results for "vermiculite" ...
This Nightline story examines the asbestos poisoning of Libby, Montana, where hundreds of people have acquired asbestosis and lung cancer. It also addresses the possibility that asbestos from the mine in Libby might contaminate other areas where the mine's products were processed.
This book reveals the events behind the asbestos-related deaths of hundreds of miners and their family members and the related sicknesses of thousands of others who lived near the W.R. Grace & Co. vermiculite mine. The investigation documents how company officials knew for decades that the ore from the mine was dangerous but still they concealed the hazard. The authors also show how the federal government had known of the poisonings but had failed to disclose the problem.
This two-part series focused on a product called Zonolite. For decades it was used as an attic insulation in millions of homes across the United States. Internal documents from the company that mines the raw material, and government agencies found that the product contains tremolite asbestos, one of the most deadly forms of asbestos. It is related to numerous deaths and illness of the lungs from inhalation of the dust particles of the product. More than 70,000 homes statewide in Michigan (including Detroit) have the product in their attics. Many former employees of the company are at risk of lung ailments without their knowledge of the product's hazard. The series discovered that the EPA was trying to internally assess exactly what to tell the public who may come in contact with the product about how to handle Zonolite. It also included information about how to check the attic of a home to see if there is Zonolite, as well as precautions to be taken.
Tags: TAPE; Zonolite; EPA; Environmental Protection Agency; W.R. Grace; vermiculite; tremolite asbestos; asbestos; inhalation; dust particles Superfund cleanup sit; lung; homeowners; construction; contractor; plumber; attic; mine; toxicity; environmental damage; strip mining; dust; environmental medicine; carcinogen; Libby; mineral
NBC investigates a deadly mining operation near Libby, Montana, where more than 100 former workers and their relatives have died of asbestos-related illnesses. Although the mine closed in 1990, the dying continues, NBC reports. The story reveals that W.R. Grace, the company that operated the mine, was aware of the health risks years before warning the miners about the asbestos danger. "The program supplied a fresh alert to thousands around the country who may have products such as home insulation made from Libby's vermiculite ore in their homes."
Tags: TAPE; TRANSCRIPT; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); doctors; public health; occupational safety; FOIA; mining; workplace safety; asbestosis; tremolite; Superfund; deaths; injuries; zonolite attic insulation
"The series dealt with the continuing exposure to cancer-causing asbestos by hundreds of thousands of miners, construction workers, home gardeners, auto mechanics and others. Industry claimed there was no danger and government, for the most part, believed that asbestos had been banned.... The stories that followed (Seattle P-I 1999 coverage) in 2000 documented that miners in other places are being killed by the same fibers today and asbestos can still be found in such benign consumer products as crayons, play sand, garden products, attic insulation, wall board, construction products and vehicle brake shoes." (file includes text of "Uncivil Action: A Town Left to Die)
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that "From 1924 until 1990, miners extracted a large percentage of the world's vermiculite from a mountainside near Libby (Montana). As they mined and milled the ore, millions of tons of tremolite asbestos were released into the air... 192 people from Libby had died, and 375 were currently diagnosed with fatal asbestos-related disease, directly traceable to the mining operation. ... The W.R. Grace Co., which owned the mine for three decades, was well aware of the deadly asbestos being inhaled by the miners and their families, but for years did not tell its workers of the hazards... And doctors say the people of Libby will keep dying for decades..."