West Dallas Residents May Have Been Exposed to Asbestos

Hundreds of West Dallas (TX) residents showed up at an area hospital this weekend to be tested for possible lung ailments, caused by exposure to asbestos from a local vermiculite processing plant.

A story on WFAA-TV Dallas/Fort Worth profiled the saga of scores of West Dallas residents who’ve been suffering from various respiratory ailments. Recently, these concerned residents found out that the cause of their problems may be the W.R. Grace Texas Vermiculite plant that closed 15 years ago in their neighborhood.

So many of the affected showed up at Parkland Hospital on Saturday that many were turned away and the hospital had to schedule another screening session for Sunday afternoon.

I would like to know before I leave here, just how bad my body has been destroyed, said West Dallas resident Linda Williams.

Williams has suffered from chronic bronchitis, shortness of breath, and fluid build-up in her lungs. She hopes this x-ray will help her understand the source of some of her medical problems but it won’t begin to answer her questions.

“Right now, we’re damaged goods and we want to know who’s responsible,” she said.

Anyone who either worked, or lived within a quarter mile radius of the plant during the 40 years it made insulation is being screened, the story explained.

“When we lived in the projects you know, the windows were open, and then the smokestacks, all of that smoke would come into the windows,” said Augustine Raymundo.

Violet Bowens, who found a spot on her lung, says all of her children have been sick. Now she worries for the next generation.

“Then I have grandchildren that are sick. Learning disabilities and just, you name it. And you think it’s all connected? I think all of that is connected,” she said.

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