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.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.