38/376 - W. R. Grace Plant

WR Grace Plant

The FickrSA Club met at Blue Star on Saturday and we wandered around the southern section of the San Antonio River. Just south of Blue Star is the old W. R. Grace "Big Tex" plant.

According to a October 21, 2009 www.mysanantonio.com article:
"After the removal of 2,000 tons of asbestos-contaminated dirt from a 7.5-acre site on the banks of the San Antonio River, environmental regulators finally have given the old Big Tex complex a clean bill of health.

The property was contaminated during the decades it was home to a processing plant owned by W.R. Grace, a company known to have sent millions of tons of vermiculite ore tainted with amphibole asbestos to more than 200 locations throughout the country.

Amphibole is a particularly hazardous form of asbestos that can cause lung cancer and other deadly illnesses.

Big Tex was one of W.R. Grace's largest sites, processing 124,000 tons of the tainted ore from 1961 to 1989. The company would heat the vermiculite until it expanded and then ship it off to be used in insulation and other building material.

The ore, from a naturally contaminated vermiculite mine in Libby, Mont., is so dangerous that diseases associated with asbestos were found at 60 times the national average in Libby, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

The company remains in business and recently was acquitted of criminal charges by a Montana jury.

State health officials have said no ill health effects have been documented from the ore locally. But given the potential hazard, many of those who attended Tuesday's meeting from the nearby King William area were happy the asbestos is gone."

The black/white treatment of the picture represents my attitudes towards this company and the way they, 3M and other companies handled asbestos.

No comments: