1977 Study Found High Rate of Asbestos Disease

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA – Jurors in the W.R. Grace environmental trial heard evidence Thursday that a 1977 chest X-ray study of a group of Libby miners showed a high incidence of asbestos-related disease.

Dr. Daniel Teitelbaum is a toxicologist who oversaw the study commissioned by Grace.

The Missoulian newspaper reported his testimony on its Web site.

The X-rays of the Libby group were compared to X-ray results from workers at another Grace facility in South Carolina and showed “a high attack rate of asbestos in the Libby group,” according to a 1978 report from Teitelbaum to defendant Henry Eschenbach.

Teitelbaum testified Thursday that Grace did not follow up on the chest study as recommended by his radiologists.

Columbia, Md.-based Grace and five one-time company officials are accused of endangering the community of Libby by mining asbestos-laced ore, and doing so in violation of federal law.