High rates of mesothelioma found among Iron Range workers

November 3rd, 2011

An ongoing study has found 82 deaths from mesothelioma in the Iron Range of Minnesota, up from the 63 previously reported in 2010. Lead researchers for the study have found the mesothelioma rate is considerably higher than it should be for the region.

The study speculates the area has a higher rate of asbestos exposure due to asbestos fibers being disturbed by the nearby mining of taconite rock. Many of the deaths involved workers who either worked in the mine or worked closely with commercial asbestos products.

Asbestos exposure is directly linked to the fatal lung cancer mesothelioma and other chronic lung conditions, such as asbestosis. The symptoms of asbestos exposure can take decades to develop. Diseases related to asbestos exposure claim more than 4,000 lives annually in the United States.

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