No citizen can ask an iron ore mining official questions, under oath, about the relevancy of issues like these:
|Mesothelioma Deaths Still a Mystery among Minnesota Miners|
More bad news for taconite workers along Minnesota’s Canadian border: The number of taconite workers who have died of mesothelioma has risen from 63 to 82 since last year.
The increase is further evidence that, for reasons which are still unclear, these miners may be at higher risk for mesothelioma than the general population.
The figures are the latest from an ongoing study on the health effects of the mineral taconite, a form of iron-ore which has been mined in the region since the 1950’s.
The $4.9 million dollar Taconite Workers Health Study began in 2008 after a number of taconite workers contracted lung cancer and mesothelioma, the asbestos caused cancer.
Three years into the five-year study, the link between taconite mining and mesothelioma appears to be more certain, if not more explainable.
According to the Duluth News Tribune, of the 46,000 taconite works born since 1920, 1,681 developed either mesothelioma or another form of lung cancer.
Having finished the data collection phase of the study, the University of Minnesota School of Public Health researchers are beginning to try to understand the origin of the apparent mesothelioma risk.