EPA: Low Asbestos In Wood Chips From Libby, Mont.

By Salon Staff

Published January 13, 2012 8:18PM (EST)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Test results from huge piles of woodchips that were being sold from a Montana Superfund site for use in landscaping show they contain minimal levels of asbestos.

The results were obtained Friday by The Associated Press. The findings appear to offer a rare bit of relief for the town of Libby, where widespread asbestos contamination has killed an estimated 400 people.

The Environmental Protection Agency found no asbestos in air tests meant to mimic exposure from spreading the wood chips. A "very low level" of asbestos was found in one of 15 samples from the chips themselves.

The tests followed concerns from residents who had used the wood chips for years.

Libby councilman and landscaping business owner Allen Olsen says he still won't use the wood chips despite the results.

Salon Staff

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