Results of major miners’ health study due Friday

On Friday, University of Minnesota researchers will reveal results of a highly-anticipated study on mesothelioma rates related to workers in Iron Range mines.

Mesothelioma is a rare lung cancer often tied to asbestos found in industrial settings. Rates of the disease are 300 percent higher than normal among residents of the Iron Range. The big question is whether researchers have found a link between mesothelioma and the taconite mining process, something that could have future implications for workers and mines.

Past coverage of the issue here.

The results will be shared at a community meeting to be held at 3 p.m. Friday at the Mt. Iron Community Center on Highway 169.


  1. I am very interested to see what comes out of this. There are certainly folks in Lake County have gotten and died from Mesothelioma.

    One thing I have heard – and I’ll be interested to see if it shows up in the presentation – is that the rock fibers that may be causing mesothelioma are more present in the East Range pits – North Shore’s Babbit pit, and the former LTV pit.

    If this is true, it raises some interesting questions about whether the fibers could also be a concern for proposed copper nickel mines on the East Range. Fore example, PolyMet’s mine would be pretty near the old LTV pit.

    Clearly the ores are in different rock formations, so I don’t think anyone knows quite yet – but something to follow, especially for any underground mines (like the one Duluth Metals proposes) where ventilation would be very important.

    Lets see what Friday brings, and hope some folks might get some justice.

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