Center for Asbestos Related Disease (CARD)
Miscellaneous Top
Q. Is any research being done on Libby amphibole asbestos?
A. Yes! CARD is seriously involved in research. Many projects have been initiated, completed or are ongoing. There is great interest for continued research to understand the health effects related to different levels of asbestos exposure as this is the foundation for developing new treatments for patients.Top
Q. Can I still file a suit against WR Grace?
A. Yes, you can still file a suit against W. R. Grace. You can file a personal civil suit by contacting a private attorney to represent you.
Q. Can I apply for disability because of my ARD?
A. Yes. Anyone can apply for disability if they have a health condition (physical or mental) that prevents them from being able to work. Asbestos related diseases are no different and the Social Security Disability Division even recognizes Libby amphibole (aka “tremolite”) asbestos disease as having a different presentation than other types of asbestos disease thus warranting different disability criteria. To start the process, contact your local Social Security Office. Or for more information see the CARD NEWS Summer 2006 edition for the article Amphibole Asbestos Disease Recognized by Social Security.
Q. How can I give or donate to CARD?
A. Donations to CARD are received via the CARD Foundation. The Foundation accepts gifts on behalf of CARD and works to fund present and future needs. Philanthropic support of CARD or the CARD Foundation is greatly appreciated. For more information, please visit the CARD Foundation at www.donatecardfoundation.org
Center for Asbestos Related Disease (CARD) Top
Q. What is CARD?
A. The Center for Asbestos Related Disease (CARD) is an independent, non-profit specialty healthcare clinic that is governed by a volunteer community-based Board of Directors. The multidisciplinary professional team specializes in Libby Amphibole Asbestos, with Pulmonary Function labs on site. CARD provides extensive asbestos health screening, health management and can provide education, counseling, and outreach. CARD also facilitates research surrounding amphibole asbestos health issues.
Q. What is the mission of CARD?
A. CARD’s mission is to provide long-term screening, health monitoring, disease diagnosis, specialized asbestos healthcare and counseling to all people impacted by Libby Amphibole Asbestos. In addition, CARD provides outreach, advocacy, disease prevention and research to benefit all people impacted by asbestos.
Q. Can anyone be screened at CARD?
A. Anyone exposed to Libby Amphibole Asbestos can be screened at CARD.
Q. Is CARD associated with W. R. Grace?
A. No. CARD is a community-based, independent, non-profit, specialty healthcare clinic. CARD is not involved with W. R. Grace in any way nor is it funded by the government.
Exposure Top
Q. I didn’t work at the mine but I hunted in the woods and got firewood up by Rainy Creek, and fished in the Kootenai River. Do you think I had a significant exposure?
A. Since those areas are located so close to the mine site and if you spent a fair amount of time there, it would be a good idea for you to get screened.
Q. My grandfather worked at the mine and now I am having trouble with my breathing. Should I be screened?
A. Yes, it would be a very good idea to get screened. Chances are you were exposed to asbestos fibers. Asbestos fibers could have traveled on your grandfather’s clothing, car upholstery and they can even linger in the air for long periods of time when disturbed. Getting screened will help you know about your respiratory health.
Q. I played in the piles while my oldest brother played baseball in Libby. Will I get asbestos disease?
A. Playing on or around the ball fields and the ore piles was an area where high exposures occurred. You should be screened to determine your health status.
Q. I loved to help my grandmother in the garden. She is now on oxygen, should I be screened?
A. Many folks used vermiculite from the mine to enrich the soil in their yards and gardens. It might be unknown if your grandmother had vermiculite asbestos in her garden as she could have been exposed in a different way. Getting screened is always a good idea to know your asbestos health status.
Q. Can I get lung cancer from asbestos?
A. Yes, The risk of lung cancer is increased with asbestos exposure.
Q. What does “screening” mean and what does it involve?
A. Screening involves collection of information relating to your asbestos exposure, health history, current respiratory signs and symptoms. A chest x-ray, and CT scan if warranted, will be done to look at your lungs. A breathing test (pulmonary function test) will be done to see how your lungs are working. The doctor will then evaluate all your information and discuss the findings with you. An individual health plan will be established that will help you to maintain and/or improve your health status. You will then be set-up for annual asbestos health screening to monitor and/or manage any changes in your lungs as well as to provide lung cancer screening tests.
Screening Top
Q. Why is it important that I get my screening every year, even if I don’t have any signs or symptoms?
A. After exposure, asbestos related disease has a 10-40 year latency period before symptoms may develop and it can be a progressive disease. In addition, with asbestos exposure there is an increased risk for lung cancer. Annual screening provides you the opportunity to manage your respiratory health. Early detection of disease translates to early intervention and better health outcomes.
Q. Do I have to live in Libby in order to be screened?
A. Many people lived in Libby and have moved away. You are encouraged to make an effort to come to Libby for a face to face evaluation. However, in the event that this is a hardship, CARD offers long distance screening. After you complete initial paperwork, you can obtain your x-rays, CT’s if warranted, and breathing tests in your home town. Then CARD physicians can review your case. CARD providers work closely with your primary care provider to assist in managing your respiratory healthcare. If this option is what you need to do, please visit “Long Distance Screening” on this web site or contact us for more specific information.
Q. Does CARD pay for my annual screening visit? If not, who does?
A. CARD is not an insurance company and can not provide healthcare services for free.
Medical Top
Q. Does smoking cause asbestos related disease?
A. Smoking does damage your lungs and can cause lung disease but it does not cause asbestos related disease. Medical evidence has shown that smoking can worsen your shortness of breath and/or other symptoms if you already have an asbestos related disease. It can also increase your risk for lung and throat cancers.
Q. How important is it to quit smoking?
A. Many studies have shown that the combination of smoking and asbestos exposure is particularly hazardous. Cigarette smokers, on the average, are 10 times as likely to develop lung cancer as are non-smokers. For non-smokers with asbestos exposure, the risk is about 5 times greater than for those in the general population. By contrast, smokers who are heavily exposed to asbestos are as much as 90 times more likely to develop lung cancer than are non-exposed individuals who do not smoke. Smoking does not appear to increase the risk of mesothelioma.
Q. What is the difference between asbestos related disease, asbestosis and mesothelioma?
A. Asbestos related diseases are diseases associated with asbestos exposure. These may include but are not limited to: pleural plaques, pleural thickening, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Asbestosis is a commonly used term but sometimes it is not used correctly. Appropriately used it describes scarring of actual lung tissue which can also be called interstitial disease. A pleural plaque is a single spot of scarring on the lining around the lung where as pleural thickening is scaring that is more extensive along the lining around the lung. Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer caused by exposure to asbestos that can occur in the lining around the lung as well as the linings around the abdominal cavity or the heart. For more detailed information on this subject see the section on Libby Amphibole Asbestos Related Diseases.
Q. Will my disease go away?
A. No. Asbestos related disease is a chronic lung condition that does not go away. Some people may experience increasing signs and symptoms and/or a progression of disease, but it is highly individual. This is all the more reason to have your annual screening.
Q. What can I do to help my symptoms?
A. monia vaccinations. If you smoke, it is very important that you quit as soon as possible. Take your medications as directed and visit your health care provider as to changes in signs or symptoms or any medication issues. Don’t be afraid to ask for HELP.
Q. Are asbestos related diseases fatal?
A. They can be. Although many people have died from asbestos related disease and/or complications, it is not the most common path of the disease. Asbestos related diseases can be managed by taking your medications, seeing a doctor when the first signs of respiratory infection present to prevent complications, maintaining overall good health, including smoking cessation. It is also important to follow your doctor’s advice regarding how often you should be seen to manage your condition effectively.
Q. I get so tired and worn out taking care of myself and I do not have any energy or enjoyment for the things I used to do. Is there any help?
A. There are techniques that you can adopt for conserving your energy. Visit the health education on this website or ask you medical provider. Other help may be available through specific programs. Contact us to learn about what programs are currently available.
Q. If I feel better, can I skip a dose of my medicine or quit taking it altogether?
A. It is not recommended that you skip any medications or quit taking them altogether without discussing it with your medical provider. Many medications have a “half-life” or need to get to certain levels in the blood stream in order to be effective. If you quit taking them you may feel okay for several days but your symptoms will most likely come back. If you have questions about your medications, feel they are no longer effective, or you are experiencing unpleasant side effects, consult your medical provider. Never stop a medication on your own because you may experience negative health effects.
Q. Can I increase my oxygen at home if I feel I need to?
A. You should not increase your supplemental oxygen use at home without a doctor’s order. Oxygen is classified as a “prescription drug”. Several criteria have to be met in order for a person to receive supplemental oxygen or have it increased. People who have COPD or emphysema should be very careful with the amount of oxygen they use, as it is possible for them to get “too much” oxygen thus further worsening their breathing. If you feel you are not getting enough oxygen, contact your medical provider to have your condition re-evaluated.

News & Updates


CARD Looking for Young Adults Screened in 2000-2001

Miscellaneous Is any research being done on Libby amphibole asbestos? Can I still file a suit against WR Grace? Can I apply for disability because of my ARD? How can I give or donate to CARD? Center for Asbestos Related Disease (CARD) What is CARD? What is the mission of CARD? Can anyone be screened […] > Read More