The continuing story of the deadliest environmental disaster in the United States


Reporting and Sources

The original stories

When the Post-Intelligencer published its first stories on the Libby disaster in November 1999, the disclosures hit like an earthquake, bringing to Libby a skeptical emergency-response team that soon began to grasp the enormity of the catastrophe. Andrew Schneider, Carol Smith and David McCumber often worked together to publish scores of stories in the Post-Intelligencer about Libby’s contamination and other asbestos dangers across the country.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Nov. 18, 1999

Nov. 18, 1999, 1 Nov. 18, 1999, 2 Nov. 18, 1999, 3 Nov. 18, 1999, 4 Nov. 18, 1999, 5 Nov. 18, 1999, 6 Nov. 18, 1999, 7 Nov. 18, 1999, 8

Seattle Post-Inteliigencer, Nov. 19, 1999

Neat Document- Neat Document- Neat Document- Neat Document- Neat Document- Neat Document-

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Dec. 3, 1999

PI 12_3_99-1 PI 12_3_99-2

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Dec. 22, 1999

PI 12_22_99-1 PI 12_22_99-2 PI 12_22_99-3 PI 12_22_99-4 PI 12_22a_99-1 PI 12_22a_99-2

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 23, 2000

PI 5_23_00-1 PI 5_23_00-2 PI 5_23_00-3

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 13, 2000

PI 6_13_00-1 PI 6_13_00-2 PI 6_13_00-3

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 22, 2000

PI 6_22_00-1 PI 6_22_00-2

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Aug. 18, 2000

PI 8_18_00-1 PI 8_18_00-2 PI 8_18_00-3 PI 8_18_00-4

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, story index 1999-2000

PI asbestos sty index-1


An Air That Still Kills includes material from hundreds of interviews and thousands of pages of corporate, government and research documents. Here are links to a few of the documents cited in the book:

Medical and environmental studies

International Agency for Research on Cancer’s evaluation of malignancies associated with asbestos:

Study in Environmental Health Perspectives in 2003 on radiographic abnormalities and exposure to asbestos-contaminated vermiculite in Libby, Montana:

“Vermiculite, Respiratory Disease and Asbestos Exposure in Libby, Montana: Update of a Cohort Mortality Study,” 2007:

Exposure Assessment for Asbestos-Contaminated Vermiculite,” prepared for EPA, 1985:

“Increasing the Number of Gray Shades in Medical Display Systems – How Much Is Enough?” Journal of Digital Imaging, 2007:

IRIS toxicological review report of Libby asbestos, 2014:

Government reports, warnings and actions

Government Accountability Office report, 2009:

EPA news release announcing public health emergency in Libby, 2009:!OpenDocument

EPA warning, “Protect your family from asbestos-contaminated vermiculite insulation”:

Recommendations by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for limiting potential exposures of workers to Libby asbestos:

Fact sheet from Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry on vermiculite consumer products:

Speeches, testimony and court proceedings

The definition of asbestos used by an appellate court in 2007:

Congressional testimony by Stephen Nesbitt, assistant EPA inspector general for investigations, in 2008:

Speech by EPA administrator Lisa Jackson announcing assistance for Libby, 2009:!opendocument

Newspaper stories

Flathead Beacon newspaper story on law firm that represented many Libby victims: Tristan Scott, “The Firm,” April 23, 2014:

Spokesman-Review newspaper story on Zonolite trust: Becky Kramer, “Zonolite deal would offer cash for repairs,” November 26, 2008:

Zonolite trusts

Zonolite Attic Insulation Trust notice, 2014:

Zonolite Attic Insulation Trust website:

WRG Asbestos PI Trust website:


The Enhanced Edition

In this edition designed for iPads and Macs, the author has included video, audio and dozens of photographs documenting the tragedy in Libby. You’ll also find source documents behind the reporting and an interactive glossary.




The ebook

This digital book is optimized for easy reading on the Kindle or any device’s Kindle app.



Find the newly updated book with the author’s source citations.