Since “most pleural abnormalities don’t actually interfere with lung function,” the statement that dangerous asbestos exposures extended beyond the workplace in Libby, Mont., must be considered an opinion or assumption, not something confirmed by scientific studies. The heading for the article could just as well have ended “may only be a minor problem.”

Bud Marchette
Pebble Beach, Calif.

While the risk is obviously great for those living in Libby, such cases have unfortunately proved to be a wedge for legal actions by individuals exposed peripherally to other forms of asbestos but not shown to be harmed. The lawsuits have proved to be a bonanza to the legal profession and the death knell to a number of companies only remotely connected to the problem.

Nelson Marans
Silver Spring, Md.