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Montana 75 articles

New information about asbestos at daycare raises more questions

The University of Montana posted new information on its website regarding asbestos found in the now-shuttered McGill Hall that housed a day care, but the 84-page document raises even more concerning questions. The document offers details of an asbestos inspection at McGill Hall in 2011, apparently the last time the facility was inspected to see if it contained any materials that contained asbestos and whether those materials were damaged. This may cause the microscopic fibers of asbestos to go airborne, creating a risk for asbestos-related diseases including a rare form of cancer called mesothelioma. The assessment involved testing of surfaces ... Read More

UM faces dozens of asbestos exposure-related claims

Most people could have expected that it would be only a matter of time before those exposed to cancer-causing asbestos at the University of Montana took legal action. Just weeks after the discovery of asbestos in an air duct led to testing that revealed levels of asbestos in the air at McGill Hall far exceeded levels considered safe by federal standards, 32 asbestos-related claims were filed against the university by faculty, staff and/or student workers. The scare prompted the University of Montana to test areas within the building, after which which the school relocated 47 preschoolers to the College of ... Read More

Little can be done for children exposed to asbestos at preschool

The effects of asbestos exposure in children who attended a preschool at McGill Hall at the University of Montana (UM) won’t be known for another 10 to 40 years, and “there is nothing medically that can be done for them on an immediate time frame,” other than avoiding additional asbestos exposure, said Paul Smith, a pediatric pulmonologist. In December, a technician discovered crumbled asbestos in an air system that serves three offices in McGill Hall. Asbestos is a mineral that was widely used in building materials like insulation until the 1980s, when health risks associated with asbestos exposure were better ... Read More

Montana’s Kalispell Hospital Network Settles Whistleblower Lawsuit for $24 million

Kalispell Regional Healthcare System of Kalispell, Montana and six affiliates have agreed to pay $24 million to settle allegations stemming from a whistleblower lawsuit that they engaged in an extensive kickback scheme. The government alleged that Kalispell Regional maintained arrangements with referring physicians that violated the Stark Law, the Anti-Kickback Statute, and the federal False Claims Act. U.S. law prohibits hospitals and other health care providers from engaging in kickback arrangements and other schemes that provide money or other gifts for patient referrals. Services billed to Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal health care programs that were influenced by illegal kickbacks ... Read More

People still dying from asbestos exposure in Libby, Montana

The vermiculite mine in Libby, Montana closed in 1990, and since late 1999 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been cleaning up this small town once littered with the mined asbestos. But because of the decades-long latency period of asbestos-related diseases, people in this town – many with no connection to the mine – are still being diagnosed with and are dying from lung cancer, mesothelioma and other diseases caused by asbestos exposure, according to a report in the Independent Record. Libby is designated as a Superfund site, and environmental workers here are finishing up the last remaining residential asbestos ... Read More

Del Monte Vegetable Trays Linked to Second Midwest Cyclospora Outbreak

Del Monte vegetable trays have been linked to one of two separate outbreaks of cyclospora parasite in the Midwestern U.S., public health officials warn. Combined, the cyclospora outbreaks have sickened at least 400 people in every Midwest state along with Montana, Kentucky, and West Virginia. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 237 cases of cyclosporiasis in people who ate vegetables from Del Monte Fresh vegetable trays containing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, and dill dip. Reports of illnesses linked to cyclospora-contaminated Del Monte vegetable trays came from Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Of the people sickened after ... Read More

Kellogg’s Honey Smacks Salmonella outbreak sickens 100

Boxes of Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal tainted with Salmonella are still being sold in some stores despite being recalled last month by the company, increasing the number of people who have fallen ill after eating the sweetened puffed wheat cereal to 100 in 33 states, 30 of whom have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported to date. Kellogg Company agreed to recall affected boxes of Honey Smacks in June after consulting with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state partners. The products had been distributed across the United States including Guam ... Read More

Whistleblower Sues Montana Hospital over Alleged Kickback Scheme

A newly unsealed whistleblower complaint against Kalispell Regional Healthcare accuses the Montana hospital of engaging in an extensive kickback scheme that put the profits of specialist physicians and hospital executives above patient care while defrauding U.S. and Montana taxpayers. The newly unsealed suit was originally filed in September 2016 by John Mohatt, formerly the CEO of Kalispell Regional Healthcare’s physician network. An amended False Claims Act complaint was filed in May of last year and remained under seal until recently, although the U.S. Department of Justice continues to investigate the whistleblower’s allegations, Kalispell’s Flathead Beacon reports. U.S. law prohibits hospitals ... Read More

73 people infected with Salmonella after eating Honey Smacks cereal

At least 73 people in 31 states have fallen ill from Salmonella infections and health authorities say the likely culprit is Kellogg’s Honey Smacks sweetened puffed wheat cereal. As a result, the Kellogg Company has recalled the cereal, which was distributed throughout the United States as well as Guam and Saipan, and internationally in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, the Caribbean and Tahiti. Consumers are urged not to eat any of the recalled Honey Smacks cereal. Affected products include Honey Smacks 15.3 oz boxes with the BEST if Used By Date listed as JUN 14, 2018 through JUN 14, 2019, and ... Read More

Talc sold to US consumers funds Isis terrorists, report warns

Extremist groups in Afghanistan are pulling in hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits a year from the illegal mining of talc, which ends up in products like baby powder and paint found on store shelves in the United States and Europe. As a result, American and European consumers are unwittingly bankrolling these Islamic State fighters, according to a report by the advocacy group Global Witness. Nearly a half million pounds of talc are mined in areas of eastern Afghanistan where the Taliban and Islamic State are fighting. This talc was exported from Afghanistan over the course of a year, ... Read More