U of M study shows link between cancer and taconite mining


Researchers delivered the results Friday of a five-year, $5 million study on the cancer risk associated with exposure to commercial asbestos and dust from taconite ore among Iron Range miners.

The study shows for each year a worker spent in the taconite industry, the risk of being stricken by mesothelioma increases 3 percent, the Star Tribune reports.

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer affecting the lining of the lungs.

University researchers found that 80 miners, all men, died of the rare cancer, a rate nearly three times that in the rest of the state’s population. Asbestos remains the prime suspect, but more analysis of fibers found in the mines needs to be conducted to get clearer answers.

The study that was unable to prove that exposure to the dust is the cause of mesothelioma, MPR reports.

Dr. Jeffrey Mandel, a university physician and epidemiologist who led the study, says researchers believe “there is something about working in the industry that is playing into this.”

According to the Duluth News Tribune, the research team also pointed out that even with an increased risk, mesothelioma is still a rare disease, and the chances of contracting it are slim.

Next Up

William Carlson

Nearly 80 years later, Minnesotan honored for WWII heroism

He defended a sinking passenger ship from a U-boat.

ambulance, crash

Pedestrian fatally struck by driver in Brooklyn Park

The identity of the victim has not been released.

storm, severe weather, shelf cloud

Some storms could pack a punch Sunday afternoon

Widespread severe weather is not expected, but some storms could get feisty.


Man, 23, killed in single-vehicle wreck near St. Cloud

The crash happened on Highway 10 around 11:30 a.m.

Byron Buxton

Buxton returns, Twins get another victory in Texas

Buxton missed 39 games with a hip strain.


Homicide in Robbinsdale leads to 10-hour standoff in Brooklyn Center

The suspect was at a residence in Brooklyn Center.


St. Paul will not put on fireworks display this year, citing budget concerns

Minneapolis and Stillwater have also canceled their displays this year due to logistical challenges.

minneapolis police

5 people shot overnight in Dinkytown, investigation underway

It happened in the area of 14th Ave SE and 4th St SE.


Study suggests link between 3M chemical and cancer

Scientists focused on a chemical found in drinking water in Ohio and West Virginia, but they also say it exists in smaller amounts in Washington County. But a health official in Minnesota cautions that studies so far on perfluorooctanoic acid, of PFOA, have been inconsistent and the latest research doesn't necessarily mean there is an increased risk of cancer here.

U of M researchers identify link between e-cigarettes and cancer

E-cigs contain trace elements of a chemical that can establish in the body after inhalation.