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Iron Ore Miners at Major Risk of Mesothelioma

Research is ongoing as part of a $5 million study which has been prompted by high rates of a rare, deadly lung cancer called mesothelioma in iron ore miners.

The dust from the mines has long been a concern for Iron Range communities such as Keewatin, Minnesota which received $60,000 for a new street sweeper from U.S. Steel in 2008 as part of an agreement over dust coming from the company’s iron ore plant to the south.

The most significant finding of the research so far has come from health tests of miners’ spouses, who unlike the miners do not show elevated rates of lung abnormalities or disease. However the figures among the miners themselves make for sobering reading, and last week, the state Health Department released new data showing 21 additional miners stricken with mesothelioma, for a total of 101 since the cluster was first identified in 2003. Almost all have died.

University health researchers have found that iron ore workers are stricken with mesothelioma at more than double the expected rate. While the research has linked miners’ illnesses to taconite dust exposure over many years, it did not explicitly blame taconite particles. Commercial asbestos used decades ago in mining operations remains the prime suspect in the cancers.

If you have been diagnosed with any an asbestos related disease, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. To find out how we can help you recover for your asbestos related claim, contact the Law Office of Brayton Purcell, LLP at (800) 598-0314 immediately, or contact us online for a free consultation.