Libby, Montana, the town that health-conscious dwellers have learned to fear. The vermiculite extracted from a mine next to the town was packaged as Zonolite insulation and ended up in millions of homes, possibly including yours. Unfortunately, that vermiculite was contaminated with asbestos, a mineral once considered a miracle and now known to cause cancer. The town population has been gruesomely decimated by the asbestos contamination, and new cases keep coming. That mine has produced the vast majority of the vermiculite insulation in the world.
Yesterday it was announced that the so-called Environment Protection Agency (EPA) won’t after all review much of the hazardous material in use, including asbestos. What this means exactly is of course murky, but the bottom line is crystal clear: The EPA will do less to protect your health.