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Montana slag plant shut down due to arsenic exposure

Posted at 10:10 AM, Feb 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-25 13:31:01-05

ANACONDA – The Montana  Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS) closed down the U.S. Minerals plant off of Highway 1 near Anaconda this week after several employees tested for high levels of inorganic arsenic in their systems.

The U.S. Minerals plant crunches slag to make roofing granules and other abrasives. Back in April, some employees were found with high levels of arsenic in their urine. Since then, more employees have been found with inorganic arsenic in their systems.

Long exposure to arsenic can cause skin irritation and even cancer. DPHHS sent a cease and desist letter to the plant and are working through legal channels to close it down.

MTN News spoke with officials from U.S. Minerals headquarters in Illinois. They said they are aware of the plant closure in Anaconda, but had no comment on the situation.

-John Emeigh reporting for MTN News