Asbestos–Contaminated Soil To Be Removed from Former Vermiculite Plant

Hamilton Vermiculite Plant Operated by Zonolite Co, Later by W.R. Grace

HAMILTON, NJ - September 1, 2006 - About 6,500 tons of asbestos-contaminated soil will be removed from an area next to a former vermiculite processing plant in Hamilton beginning this month (News Blaze, August 29, 2006). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will oversee the work, which is expected to take about three months. The agency has already removed 9,200 tons of contaminated soil from around the vermiculite plant, after soil samples showed high levels of asbestos.

Vermiculite is a type of ore that is heated and molded to form a lightweight, fire-resistant material used in gardening conditioners, fireproofing and insulation. The Hamilton plant received most of its vermiculite from a mine located in Libby, Montana, that was contaminated with asbestos.

The Zonolite Company operated the Hamilton vermiculite plant from 1948 to 1963. W.R. Grace, the owner of the asbestos-contaminated mine in Libby, then merged with Zonolite and stepped in to continue vermiculite processing at Hamilton until 1994.

Facilities in over 200 other cities nationwide also obtained and processed vermiculite from the Libby site, including 22 plants in California, 16 in Illinois, 9 in Oregon and 25 in Washington. The Environmental Working Group provides the addresses of all these sites as well as information on the quantity of vermiculite received.

Former Vermiculite Plant Employees At Risk for Asbestos Diseases

The government is offering free medical screening to workers who were employed at the Hamilton plant during the years it manufactured vermiculite products (ATSDR Media Announcement, August 28, 2006). Family members who lived in the household during this time period are also eligible for the screening since they may have been exposed to asbestos fibers brought home on the workers' shoes or clothing.

Exposure to asbestos can cause asbestosis, asbestos lung cancer, mesothelioma and other cancers. These diseases take several decades to develop after initial asbestos exposure. Therefore, medical monitoring of vermiculite workers and their families is a prudent idea.

Please contact our mesothelioma attorneys or call us at 1-800-361-0315 for information about asbestos diseases and your legal rights. Since 1984. Brayton Purcell has been successfully representing victims of asbestos diseases. We will review your case free of charge and advise you of your legal choices.