area. The review report is complete and final
registry. This tracing activity was coordinated
results were presented to the community on
with the development of the long-term registry.
September 26, 2002.
Nearly 4,500 persons have been traced to date.
Preparation for the first data collection for the
Evaluation of Cases of Asbestos-Related
Tremolite Asbestos Registry (TAR) is under way.
Illness, A Pilot Review and Case Series--
It is anticipated that data collection will begin in
Asbestos fibers released during vermiculite
mining in Libby resulted in exposure to mine
The Montana Asbestos Screening and
employees, their household contacts, and other
Surveillance Activity (MASSA)--MASSA is
area residents. In addition to the mine-related
now under way in Libby for ongoing medical
cases, a pulmonologist identified 27 patients
testing and follow-up of affected individuals.
from the Libby area with asbestos-related disease
ATSDR will closely coordinate all of these
who were not thought to be occupationally
activities with the Montana Department
linked to the vermiculite mine. Twenty-two
of Public Health and Human Services
participants were interviewed to obtain a more
(MDPHHS), which has the lead for this activity.
detailed exposure history. Their chest x-rays and
computed tomography (CT) scans were reviewed
by independent subject-matter experts. This
case series review resulted in confirmation of
ATSDR develops materials that public health profes-
18 cases for research purposes. Eight participants
sionals and medical care providers can use to assess
reported potential environmental exposure
the public health impacts of chemical exposures.
pathways, but did not report mine-related (or
Resources are available in print, on the ATSDR Web
other) occupational exposure to vermiculite or
site, and on CD-ROM. For example, medical man-
to commercial asbestos. Seven of these eight
agement guidelines are available for acute chemi-
environmentally exposed participants were
cal exposures to more than 40 chemicals. ATSDR's
confirmed as cases for research purposes. The
toxicological profiles comprehensively describe
report was completed in August 2002.
health effects; pathways of human exposure; and the
behavior of more than 250 hazardous substances in
CT Study--A study using CT scans was
air, soil, and water at hazardous waste sites. In the
conducted to determine the rate of abnormalities
last 5 years, more than 6,000 of these profiles have
among persons who participated in the year
been sent to requesters, including representatives of
2000 medical testing. these persons had
federal, state, and local health and environmental de-
pleural abnormalities observed by only one
partments; academic institutions; private industries;
B-reader. All 353 CT scans were reviewed by
and nonprofit organizations in Montana. ATSDR has
the expert CT radiologists. CT scans detected
also developed extensive resources for community
pleural abnormalities in 98 persons (28% of all
tested) whose chest x-rays had been classified
indeterminate. Most of these persons--69
(70%)--were either former vermiculite mine/
mill workers or their household contacts.
A preliminary report to the community was
presented in Libby on September 26, 2002. The
final report is anticipated in fall 2003.
Tremolite Asbestos Registry--Worker and
household contacts related to the Libby mine
were traced using company records and other
information. These two groups had the highest
rates of abnormalities and would benefit the
For more information, contact ATSDR toll-free
most from receiving notification of risk, health
at 1-888-42ATSDR (1-888-422-8737) or visit the
education and counseling, possible medical
ATSDR Web page at www.atsdr.cdc.gov.
testing, and possible entry into an exposure