AP NEWS

Montana slag plant ordered closed after arsenic poisoning

February 22, 2019

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — State health officials have ordered a slag plant in western Montana to shut down after at least two workers showed signs of arsenic poisoning.

The Montana Standard in Butte reports Department of Public Health and Human Services gave the U.S. Minerals plant outside Anaconda a cease-and-desist letter Thursday.

The department learned in April that a worker had elevated arsenic levels and showed symptoms of poisoning. Eight months later, two employees’ urine samples showed arsenic poisoning.

Thursday’s letter says that during site visits in 2018, the plant did not have showering or operational hand-washing facilities, a room where employees could change out of dirty work clothes and policies requiring workers to keep contaminated clothing onsite. Inspectors also noted a “lack of appropriate respirator usage.”

U.S. Minerals president Mike Johnston didn’t return an email or call for comment.

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Information from: The Montana Standard, http://www.mtstandard.com

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