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Do People Still Move to Libby, Montana?

Have you heard of Libby, Montana? If you have, you probably already know that the town is considered to be one of the United States’ most dangerous Superfund site. You probably also know that the town’s motto, Building a Healthy Growing Community, seems a little ironic.

So, we were wondering if people are still moving to Libby instead of relocating away from it. The answer is yes. But that wasn’t always the case.

Back in 1999, there were a few different newspaper articles that focused on the unusually high mortality rate of former Libby-area miners and close family members. The miners had previously worked at a vermiculite mine operated by W.R. Grace & Company. The company ran the mine, which was closed in 1990, for 27 years.

The mine had been a main employer for people living in and around the Libby area for almost three decades. However, the mining process sent asbestos into the atmosphere and soil, which in turn contaminated the town. As you probably know, asbestos can cause some pretty serious health issues.

Health experts have estimated that about 400, if not more, people have died from various asbestos-related sicknesses over the years.

After those articles came out, many people moved away from Libby, as you can imagine. However, now that the mine has been shut down for so long, people have started moving back to the Libby area. This may be due to the fact that the Federal Government has tested the air (as recently as May 2011) and determined that the air is safe.

Currently, the median home prices in the Libby area range between $167,000 and $180,000.

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