LERP (Libby Epidemiology Research Project)
In 2009, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) awarded a $5 million, five-year research grant to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) to add to the understanding of the long-term health effects of exposure to amphibole asbestos in Libby, Montana and the surrounding community. ISMMS partnered with CARD, researchers at Idaho State University (ISU), and at Montana State University at Missoula (MSU) to create the Libby Epidemiology Research Program (LERP) to help understand what makes Libby Amphibole disease so unique. This program has three different studies:
PRE ADULT LATENCY STUDY (PALS)
This study examines the health consequences that result from exposure to Libby Amphibole at the time which the lungs were still developing and maturing (before turning 21 for females and 23 for males). The study examines 200 participants at least 15 years after they were exposed to Libby Amphibole. Information from this study will be useful in identifying if childhood exposure to Libby Amphibole has an effect on vulnerability to disease development.
CT PROGRESSION STUDY
This study follows the progression of lung scarring as seen on CT scans. Our theory is that Libby Amphibole pleural scarring progresses more rapidly than pleural scarring among workers exposed to commercial forms of asbestos. For that purpose, this study compares CT scans of people who were exposed to Libby Amphibole other than vermiculite workers with CT scans of insulator workers and steamfitters who worked with asbestos and who are examined at the ISMMS in New York. If a more rapid progression is found among the Libby population, opportunities to investigate the reasons may lead to interventions that could benefit people.
This study focuses on the response of the immune system to exposures to Libby Amphibole to better understand how this form of asbestos makes people sick.
These three studies are no longer accepting participants. When results from these studies are available, they will be made available on this website. Call CARD at (406) 293-9274 or email CARD at CARD@libbyasbestos.org if you have any questions about these studies.