The longer one works in the taconite mines on the Minnesota range, the greater is their risk of the same kind of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, according to a long-term University of Minnesota study:
MOUNTAIN IRON, Minn. – The more time taconite workers spent on the job, the more likely they were to develop a rare and deadly lung cancer, researchers revealed Friday as they delivered the findings of a long-awaited study at a packed community meeting in this tiny town on Minnesota’s Iron Range.
But the five-year, $5 million Taconite Workers Health Study didn’t offer a complete answer to the question that has been confronting miners and their families for decades — whether their exposure to taconite dust bears some blame. The researchers said that at this point their research shows a possible link, but not a certain one....
Speaking to about 100 miners, family members and others at the community center here, researchers said that for each year a worker spent in the taconite industry, his risk of being stricken by mesothelioma, a deadly cancer of the lung lining known to be caused only by asbestos, increased by 3 percent.