EPA Science Inventory

Finalizing the Libby Action Plan Research Program

Citation:

Gwinn, M., D. Berry, A. Kirk, T. Bateson, B. Benson, S. Gavett, A. Jarabek, L. Kopylev, D. Bussard, R. Hines, D. McKean, AND M. Scozzafava. Finalizing the Libby Action Plan Research Program. Johnson Conference, Burlington, Vermont, July 31 - August 04, 2017.

Description:

Libby, Montana is the location of a former vermiculite mine that operated from 1923 to 1990. The vermiculite ore from the mine co-existed with amphibole asbestos, referred to as Libby Amphibole Asbestos (LAA). Combined with the cessation of the asbestos mining and processing operations, there has been significant progress in reducing the exposure to LAA in Libby, Montana. In 2009, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) jointly with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) declared a public health emergency in Libby due to observed asbestos-related health effects in the region. As part of this effort, the EPA led a cross-agency research program that conducted analytical, toxicological, and epidemiological research on the health effects of asbestos at the Libby Asbestos Superfund Site (Libby Site) in Libby, Montana. The Libby Action Plan (LAP) was initiated in 2007 to support the site-specific risk assessment for the Libby Site. The goal of the LAP research program was to explore the health effects of LAA, and determine toxicity information specific to LAA in order to accurately inform a human health risk assessment at the Libby Site. LAP research informed data gaps related to the health effects of exposure to LAA, particularly related to specific mechanisms of fiber dosimetry and toxicity (e.g., inflammatory responses), as well as investigated disease progression in exposed populations and advanced asbestos analytical techniques. This work included the derivation of a LAA-specific Inhalation Unit Risk (IUR) for cancer risk evaluation and Reference Concentration (RfC), the latter being the first non-cancer risk estimate for any form of asbestos. The research sponsored under this plan has been, and continues to be, used to support the site-specific assessment and cleanup work at Libby and Libby daughter sites. The sponsored research has also made invaluable contributions to our understanding of the health risks posed by amphibole asbestos.DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this commentary are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views and/or policies of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Purpose/Objective:

This presentation is on the final report of the Libby Action Plan, which describes the US EPA’s research and accomplishments related to the Libby Action Plan (LAP). The LAP informed critical data gaps related to the health effects of Libby Amphibole asbestos exposure, and with the completion of the LAP, the Agency was able to assure the residents of Libby, MT that the EPA removal/remedial actions were based on solid research/science and that the cleanup is protective of human health.

URLs/Downloads:

LAP SUMMARY PRESENTATION - 2017FINAL.PPTX

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/SLIDE)
Completion Date: 08/01/2017
Record Last Revised: 08/09/2017
Record Created: 08/09/2017
Record Released: 08/09/2017
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 337146

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

IMMEDIATE OFFICE (AA)

IMMEDIATE OFFICE OF ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR